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Media Theory Revision Guide

All A level theorists covered alongside revision summaries and exam practise exercises.

 

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Daily Mail

Reception theory

Hall

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Under the editorial guidance of Paul Dacre the Daily Mail clearly took an editorial stance that was designed to appeal to a right-wing readership. The Mail championed the merits of a hard Brexit - their ‘Proud of Yourselves’ front cover, for instance, accusing MPs who voted against the the advancement of the EU exit as traitors to democracy.

 

The paper encodes the hegemonic championing of English democratic values - positioning their readers to view Brexit as a democratic necessity. A right-wing readership will most likely create a dominant reading - agreeing that the parliamentarians in question are ‘malcontents’.

 

Yet, a left-wing readership would inevitably decode the Mail’s messages differently - using their contextual knowledge of the newspaper’s bias and their own beliefs to construct a contrary view of the MPs as exercising their democratic right as elected officials.

Hegemony

Describes the set of ideas that dominate within a society. Hall suggests that these ideas are usually formed by those groups who have power.

Media terminology used

Contextual reading

A media reading that is filtered using the knowledge and beliefs of the viewer. News front pages, for example, are decoded by readers using their individual political viewpoints.

Right-wing bias

Products that support right-wing political ideologies are said to have a right-wing bias. Right wing political ideologies champion business growth and traditionally forward the argument that the state ought to play a small role in the lives of citizens. The right-wing political party in the UK is the Conservative party.

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