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The aim of this research is to conduct a pilot study using a small sample size in order to decide the further potentialities of: “The Rashomon Effect” (Earl, 2011, p.1687) as observed in the British national press coverage of Margaret Thatcher’s death on April 9th 2013. Using critical discourse and visual analysis (semiotic analysis), I will closely study the three front pages (headline, text, photograph, layout) of The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Express (see Appendix A-C) to discuss whether the political ideology of each newspaper resonates in the visual structure of the pages. Background: The British Press is fuelled by conflicting ideologies attributed to the class system and differing socio-economic groups. Newspaper reports on stories, especially key national events such as the 2012 Olympics, the 2011 Royal Wedding, the 7/7 Bombings or the death of a key political figure (i.e. Margaret Thatcher), widely fluctuates depending on the paper’s political stance. The front page is a cultural phenomenon and crucial selling point. The manner, by which a front-page visually depicts a story, reflects the dominant ideology of the target audience and those working within the paper. By concentrating on three newspapers that vary in political opinions, this pilot will emphasize the explicitness of each publication’s favored standpoint. The hope is to understand whether the chosen methodology: discourse analysis (more specifically visual and semiotic analysis) would be appropriate for a larger research to discuss the disparity in opinions within the British Press. I have chosen the depiction of former Prime Minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher because as a political figure, she “divided the nation” (The Daily Mirror, ... ... middle of paper ... ...Barthes best argues the latent meaning of images that relate both the “accompanying text” (this relationship is called “anchorage”) and the socio-cultural context (Bauer and Gaskell, 2000, p.229). The advantage of analyzing newspaper covers is that they are “amenable” to semiotics as they are explicitly ideological (Bauer and Gaskell, 2000, p.232). The pilot’s disadvantages include the margin for error created by a small sample; the hypermodality of the texts (Bauer and Gaskell, 2000, p.27); and above all when engaging with images one must remember that the camera does not always state the truth (Bauer and Gaskell, 2000, p.95). Images are extremely representational of the photographer or sponsor’s ideology, thus before even being analysed the data is already tainted with emotional significance. Unlike primary participant observation, interviewing, ethnography or A
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