Media Theory Revision Guide

"...essential for all media students"

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





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The Times

Image selection


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The photo selected by the Times newspaper to lead its coverage of Trump’s victory has been encoded through the cultural references it makes to the Black Panther raised fist salute. This iconic pose suggests defiance and conveys the revolutionary implications of Trump’s selection as the US president. 

Yet the image also depicts Trump as a tired and worn out leader. The juxtaposition of the rest fist and trumps demeanour constructs an ambiguous message for the reader whilst also delivering a centre right evaluation of the President’s victory. 

Trump is neither celebrated nor demonised in the newspaper as a result of the photograph that it has selected for its front page lead.

Cultural codes

One of 'Barthe's Five Code Symphony' elements. Cultural codes (also known as referential codes) describe moments that refer to knowledge from outside of a product. This can include scientific or religious knowledge.

Media terminology used

Body language

Body language connotes the motivations or internal thinking of a character or reveal how characters relate to one another.


Hall tells us that media makers encode their products using systematic processes and production routines. These routines and processes produce ideological affects. For instance by wearing formal suits when delivering news reports news readers connote authority - this feature of news shows helps nurture audience trust.

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Media Theory for A Level
The Essential Revision Guide