IBEW Newspaper

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Posted on 08 Mar 2013 02:40

The piece of writing from a discourse community that I chose to analyze was the newspaper Union World from my father’s union, The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local #3 (IBEW) newspaper for its members. The reason why I believe that IBEW is a discourse community is because all of its members work towards achieving a specific goal, which is to achieve better working conditions for electricians. They care about making it so that electricians get all of the rights and working conditions that they deserve. They make sure that the companies give the workers the correct pay that is applicable for today’s economy. This is shown in their paper in many ways. In the issue that I have obtained, from December 2012, an example of this want for workers’ rights is shown when there is a headline that says “Members Aid in Obama Win”. President Barack Obama is known for supporting workers’ unions and so his reelection is seen as an achievement for the union.
The most important way that the newspaper helps the union achieve their goals is because it relays information to the union members that are important to their fight for workers’ rights. It lets the workers know about legislation that is being passed or different plans for legislation that will help the everyday worker make a better living for themselves. It not only worries about the political situations of the union, but it also lets the average worker know how the new laws will affect them. This is seen in an article talking about the new healthcare laws and how it will affect the workers’ medical benefits
The newspaper uses a bunch of different lexes that could be seen as unique to a union for electrical workers. One of the important times when a specific lexis is shown is when the newspaper talks about the different major projects that members of the union are currently working on. This paper uses many terms that only people who have experience being an electrician would understand, such as resistor, generator and different units of measurement such as watts, ohms, volts, etc. Another time that lexis is shown is the schedule for IBEW meetings. Only members of the union will understand what F-division, M-division, and Sign-division mean. Even reading this paper now, I myself do not understand what these mean and I would have to ask my father to explain them to me. Throughout the paper, many other different forms of lexis are used that only members of the union could understand.
I know that members of the union wrote this paper for other members of the union who would be considered insiders. The only way to obtain this paper is to be a member of the union where you can either obtain the paper at a union meeting, or download the PDF at the union’s website. However, if you are not a member of the union, you would be unable to obtain this newspaper. Because of this, it can be assumed that the paper is written for insiders of the union. The Union has a separate newsletter and website for outsiders who would like to learn more information about the union. The newspaper proves to be just one of the major forms of communication that IBEW has.

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