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Media Theory Revision Guide

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




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The Times

Hermeneutic codes


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The centre right editorial stance of the times is conveyed through the careful use of imagery, text and layout. The New World header creates an enigmatic point of entry to the front page - it’s lack of clarity as to the positive or negative nature of this ‘new world’ drives the reader to move beyond the front page in order to locate an answer. 

Moreover, the raised fist of Donald Trump is a semantic code that signals the newly elected president’s election victory, while Vice President Pence's polite applause in the background tells the reader that some sections of the American population at least are celebrating that shock victory. 

The Times’ deliberately ambiguous portrayal of Trump is reinforced through the selection of a Trump image that connotes fatigue rather than elation - the ideological inference, we might argue, is the newly elected President’s victory has been received in a complex way by the American public.

Enigma codes

The use of an element within a product to create mystery or that tease the audience so that they have to read or watch more of the product to obtain narrative resolution.

Media terminology used

Deliberate ambiguity

Where products present audiences with meanings that aren't tied down, usually used to reward active consumption.

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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