Step 1 – Assignment 4 Proposal Siobhan Plowman

The subject I plan to tackle for my analysis is the representation of Donald Trump in the media, particularly his current characterisation and representation as a misogynist. I plan to briefly outline the history of Trump’s representation in the media – ranging from some brief analysis of headlines from five years ago, to 2015-2016 during his presidential campaign, to now; noting how the trend has dramatically shifted to overwhelmingly represent him as ‘misogynist’, particularly from mid-2016, as more and more damaging allegations and information about his past has come forward – coinciding well with some particularly sexist statements on his part (and culminating in the recent emergence of the 2005 recording).

At this early stage I believe my contention will be that the representation of Donald Trump in the current media landscape (late 2016) as a whole— from views journalism to news journalism, national and international— positions and portrays Trump as a misogynist. First I will look at this broadly through analysis of current headlines, in both Australian and international media; I will briefly discuss some common trends in the current media coverage (such as those pieces that sit back and let Trump’s own words and actions do the talking, or those that use the symbol of Trump as a launchpad to discuss broader sexual assault or sexism issues); and even look at the images and captions that are frequently used in media pieces about Trump (for example, selected images of him leering behind Hillary, or images of him getting close and personal to Miss Universe stars in the spotlight, and the particular captions that accompany these).

Then I will go into some more in depth analysis of particular pieces (at the moment I am considering these four):

Brisbane Times (Au) – ‘Tape shows disgusting Donald Trump at his sexist, misogynist worst‘ by Paul McGeough (Oct 9, 2016).

This is a piece of views journalism that is very open and forward in its views of Trump, but uses many facts, statistics and appeals to authority. It is also really interesting to note how this piece has used certain images and videos throughout its piece – for example, the carefully selected images of women he has allegedly assaulted, contrasted with the images of female Trump supporters.

The Age (Au) – ‘In the ultimate act of self-promotion, Donald Trump has destroyed his brand‘ by Jennifer Rubin (11th Oct, 2016).

This is a very strongly opinionated views piece that seems to pinpoint exactly how damaging Trump’s representation in the media has been. Unlike the first piece, this author doesn’t use many appeals to authority, fact or statistics., (Au) – Donald Trump to Miss Teen USA contestants: ‘Don’t worry ladies, I’ve seen it all before’ by ‘Staff writers’, October 13, 2016.

This is a piece of hard news that represents Trump in the same light, however it is simply far more subtle in its techniques and communicative workings.

Cartoon, by Steve Benson of Creators Syndicate (US):


I feel the symbolism used in this cartoon makes a pretty clear statement / message about Trump.

It is important to note that while the written pieces were published in Australian media outlets, at least one or two of them were reposted pieces that originally appeared in American media sources, such as the Washington Post. This again further demonstrates my point that the media as a whole seems to perpetuate the same image. I hope my choice of analysis of two different views pieces, a hard news piece and a cartoon further emphasises the broad scope of this representation.

One thought on “Step 1 – Assignment 4 Proposal Siobhan Plowman”

  1. OK, this is a very detailed proposal, and it sounds as if you have a lot of material and a good amount of angles covered. yes, good to give a context of representation of trump in the past, and then use a couple of articles to focus on in more detail. the cartoon is also a useful summary of these attitudes and representation of trump in the media. don’t forget to list all the articles you refer to- even if just in passing – and hyperlinked as well. it helps to support your claims of having a wide and general knowledge of the topic, and provides everyone reading with a useful small corpus to check on.
    now, you just have to write it up in an engaging way to attract a general audience and keep their attention!

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