This thesis is a study of the rhetoric of newspaper rivalry, particularly under the pressures of image restoration and transformation. I use methods of critical discourse analysis to look at newspaper articles in Utah's two dominant newspapers, the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret Morning News. I compare a sample of news articles from each paper in 2002 to a sample in 2003, when the Tribune was working to restore its image after a scandal involving two of its reporters, and the News was working to transform its image as it transitioned from an afternoon newspaper to a morning newspaper. Using rhetorical categories previously developed, as well as categories I developed myself, I counted the appearances of different types of rivalry rhetoric in the news articles from each year. I found that while certain categories of rhetoric fell from 2002 to 2003, other categories increased drastically. In general, the categories in the 2003 sample were much more polarized than in the 2002 sample. The most striking differences were in the categories of accusation, defense, and gloating. The News' use of accusatory rhetoric and the Tribune's use of defensive rhetoric increased considerably from 2002 to 2003. The News' use of gloating rhetoric increased largely from 2002 to 2003, whereas the Tribune's decreased significantly during the same time period. Much of these changes are attributed to the pressures of image restoration and transformation.



College and Department

Humanities; English



Date Submitted


Document Type





rhetoric, rivalry, newspaper, media, Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret Morning News