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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

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

Are elements that require external information or cultural knowledge to be decoded. Cultural codes, for example, might require scientific or religious knowledge for their meanings to be fully understood.

Media terminology used

Body language

Plays a significant role in connoting the motivations or internal thinking of a character. Body language also reveals how characters relate to one another.

Encoding theory

You should use Hall's 'encoding theory' to answer 'representation' questions, questions that ask you to consider how different groups are portrayed by the media.

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