Daily Mirror newspaper- American Election

About

This set text is a newspaper front cover and article from the Daily Mirror. It was published on 10th November 2016 following the unprecedented high profile American election campaign that was eventually won by Donald Trump.

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Notes 1 (Front page)

‘It’s President Trump…’is a short and abrupt sentence. Usually for this type of article you’d expect something like ‘Donald Trump is the new president’. ‘It’s President Trump’ suggests that whoever wrote the article isn’t happy with the result and doesn’t think Trump deserves any praise or respect. The use of ellipsis suggests that nobody knows what is going to happen with him in charge.

The largest text on the page reads ‘What have they done?’ The people reading this will be anti-Trump, and so the person writing the article is making a reference to the people who did vote for Donald Trump. It suggests that with Trump as president, something will go wrong.

The bottom line of text reads ‘How Trump triumphed… and what it means for you and the world’. It makes the reader want to read on, as if they are anti-Trump, they will  be worried about how the vote will affect them. It also suggests that something bad is going to happen in the future.  

The image of the Statue of Liberty is an American representation. The Statue of Liberty has her head in her hands, suggesting that she is ashamed of the  result, and isn’t holding the torch that represents positivity and hope. This suggests that there is nothing positive about the result and no hope. The statue usually holds a tablet with America’s Independence Day date inscribed but the tablet is not in the image, hinting that with the election outcome, Americans will have less freedom. The statue wears a crown that has seven points which represent the seven seas and continents, suggesting that the election will affect the whole world. 

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Notes 2 (Inside article)

Some of the text is red, which has connotations of danger.

The article makes a comparison to Brexit, saying many people are unhappy with the election result just like people were with the decision for the UK to exit the EU, explaining how much of an effect both Brexit and the American election will have, also shows that that those people who voted for Clinton will continue to be unhappy with the decision in the future just like people who voted to stay in the EU are still unhappy. The word ‘Brexit’ has connotations of uncertainty.

‘U.S. turns in on itself’ suggests that the outcome has caused a lot of anger, is a bad result and a mistake.

‘Fears over loss of jobs and immigrants’suggests that Donald Trump will get rid of jobs and force immigrants to leave.

The stats show that majority of white people voted for Trump.

‘Voters fed up with out-of-touch elite’ shows that people who voted for Hilary Clinton are annoyed with the result and are annoyed with people who voted for Trump.

The article shows both people who wanted Trump to win the election and a boxer who voted for Hilary Clinton, visually showing the two different sides and that many people weren’t happy with the result.

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Notes 3 (Inside article)

Red, white and woo!’ emphasises how happy the Trump supporters are compared to the people who aren’t happy with the result. It also is, in a way, a comparison of how people in America felt at the time. ‘Woo’ is a sound people make when they are celebrating something. People who voted for Donald Trump are all celebrating and are happy, whereas the people who voted for Hilary Clinton are worried about America’s future.

People in the images are wearing their country’s colours, red, white and blue. These people are all proud to wear their country’s colours. The woman who voted for Hilary Clinton’s image was of before the election. It suggests that she, along with other people who voted for Clinton, will no longer be proud to wear their country’s colours, as Donald Trump as president is the person that represents them.

In the image of Hilary Clinton, she has her head up high, seeming very strong and composed. It suggests that she is professional and would have been a more suitable leader. In the image of Donald Trump, he looks stupid and idiotic, suggesting that he will not be a very professional and suitable leader.

‘Creating fear is no way to solve crisis’ can be linked with the inclusion in the article of ‘fears over loss of jobs and immigrants’.

The article as a whole is very anti-Trump- it is clear who the person that wrote this article would have voted for.

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Theories 1

Barthes’ theory of semiotics can be applied. The use of American iconography throughout the front page (subverted image of the Statue of Liberty) and the colours of the American flag in the article will have immediate cultural significance for the reader who will be able to create meaning in the associations they have with these signs.

Strauss’ structuralism theory can also be applied. The use of the pronoun ‘They’ in the front-page headline ‘What have they done?’ creates an immediate binary opposition of ‘us and them’ and lays blame on the American people for Tump’s win and creates the suggestion that this has a global impact and therefore particular ideological significance.

Hall’s theory of representation can be applied. The representation of Trump and his supporters is constructed, using media language to create meaning for the audience. The use of these ‘signs’ by the newspaper suggest that Trump and his supporters belong to a specific cultural group of predominantly white, middle class men. This representation transmits ideas to the reader about inequalities of power and the subordination of certain social groups.

Gerbner’s cultivation theory can also be applied. Audience exposure to repeated patterns of representation (of Trump and his election campaign) by newspapers may shape and influence their views and opinions.

 

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Theories 2

Hall’s reception theory can be applied. The Daily Mirror is able to promote a hegemonic-dominant reading of its viewpoint on Trump’s victory through the use of encoding and decoding, which is fully accepted by the reader.

Shirky’s ‘end of audience’ theory can also be applied. The conceptualisation of audience members as passive consumers is no longer tenable in the age of the internet with the rise of the prosumer who can create their own content such as submitting stories and being part of forums.

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