Our trial of CAQDAS had to end when we began the analysis proper. If coding is not the framework for analysis, then there is no place for the software in this process, except as a way of moving between the data and the research notes. Working with texts in CAQDAS had consisted of learning to operate the programmes, to overcome technical problems, and to categorise the news items in terms of codes. Although we were able to use the software to count and display our instances of "smoking gun" coded to show a connection with political scandals, this merely confirmed what we had gathered by simply reading through the stories. Our second set of codes, were, in the end, of little value. Assigning categories such as "actor" and "tone" and types of phrase created a content analysis of the texts that showed who said what. Since our main interest was not so much in who, what, or how often, but in how such descriptions were used, this had brought us no closer to a discourse analysis of the news media. 
Clive SEALE (2000, p.155), in his description of how to use computers in the analysis of "qualitative data", suggests that one of the advantages of CAQDAS is its "speed at handling large volumes of data, freeing the researcher to explore numerous analytic questions" (see also WEITZMAN, 2000). Data management of this kind, according to SEALE, involves sorting texts into categories, or coding segments "which may then be filed and retrieved easily" (ibid.). This "speeding up" of data management should not, of course, be confused with a speeding up of analysis. FIELDING and LEE (1998), for example, argue that there is little evidence to show that using CAQDAS shortens the time spent on analysis (see also MANGABEIRA et al., 2004). 
In our own case the time spent on the problems we encountered with CAQDAS, and fruitless attempts at inconsequential coding that bore no relation to the finished analysis, considerably increased the time we would have spent on the "smoking gun" study had we restricted our research to using the traditional manual methods of examining the data. It had, of course, been useful to locate when the term was used, the political context in which it was used, and how often it was used. It had been useful to highlight sections of text with general coding descriptions, and also to write memos for certain sections of the text. However, all of these tasks could have been done as quickly and as easily using manual methods, with the help, perhaps of the Word function to insert memo "Comments" in the text. 
6.1 Methodological compatibility?
CAQDAS are useful for practical tasks in general, such as searching for and retrieving data segments. They are also useful for coding segments of text, for maintaining links between codes, and for providing a framework for materials, from which the researcher can make summary judgements. They can, to a very limited extent, be useful in the early stages of a discourse analysis, to hold texts, to search them, and to assist in rudimentary coding, if such is required. They cannot, however, bring about the kind of organization of materials required for an in-depth, in-context analysis of the level required for a detailed analysis. 
By attempting to impose the structure of CAQDAS on our discursive examination of news, we were restricting the scope of our study. This could be avoided either by not using the programmes in discourse analysis at all; or by using them to hold the data, but not to assist analysis. Whether this is worth the time consuming effort of learning to operate the software, and preparing and loading texts, is a matter for each individual project, and researcher. 
For DA the material to be analysed has to be understood in relation to its particular discursive, interactional or rhetorical context. This means that its particularities must be studied—it is not enough to consider these as instances of something more general. For this reason, discourse analysis cannot be defined as a universal set of procedures (ANTAKI et al., 2003) to be formalised into a computer package. Instead, discourse analysis always poses new problems which, in their turn, make new demands upon the analyst. In DA the researcher should be in charge of the analysis from the moment the first document is read. Using CAQDAS with DA can, at best, be more time consuming than useful, and at worst, can steer the analyst away from the task of analysis.