Monday, 28 March 2011

Contextual studies task 3 – Semiotic Analysis

The first signifier in this image that draws your attention is the bold headline. It occupies a quarter of the page and is written in upper case, bold, black letters aiming to catch the attention of the viewer and causing them to be curious as to what the article is about. The word GOTCHA is a simple, straight to the point, one word headline that appears confident across the page. Gotcha is a slang term for the words ‘got you’ and is often used in an informal way. This is a term that would often be used when playing a game, or swatting a fly for instance, a very informal and playful word used to signify a very a very formal and serious subject such as war, which makes this a very tasteless headline.
The Sun newspaper is a red top pro-war newspaper whose political stance at the time of this article was towards the Conservative party. It is one of the highest selling newspapers in the country and is aimed at young, working class men who thrive on reading about shocking news. The use of slang and informal words throughout the piece connotes that this is the audience they are trying to communicate to.
After reading the headline your eyes automatically move to the left of the page where underneath the headline sits two images of ships, these are key signifiers as to what the article regards. One is an image of a boat similar to the one sunk which is accompanied by text underneath it. The word ‘sunk’ is written in white, bold, upper case, italic letters on a black banner denoting news about the war in a very ‘matter of fact’ way. This is continued under the second image, which is of the Belgrano, and reads ‘crippled’.
Next to these images your eyes lead you to the subheading which is also written in bold, black lettering and is underlined. Under this is the name of the writer which also states he is aboard the HMS Invincible, denoting that the news is coming right from the heart of the action and therefore must be true, promoting confidence within the reader that the information provided is fact.
The Argentinians are often referred to as ‘Argies’ in this text giving connotations of a cultural prejudice towards the opposing side. Connotations of conflict are also present with the use of words such as on their knees, double punch, wallop and asking for trouble all day. These are all part of a cultural code aimed to make the reader feel they can relate to the story. The words ‘our lads’ are also part of this cultural code designed to make the reader feel like one of them and evoke patriotic feelings among the readers of pride and national unity.
To the right of the article is a logo which reads ‘battle for the islands’ and contains an image of a soldier ready for battle, this denotes the information is about the war and is also a key signifier.
After reading the article your eyes move to another article also about the War; however in this article the enemy is the Union. The Sun sees the Unions opinion as a boycott and this is denoted in the bold, upper case, black, and italic heading ‘Union boycotts war’. This connotes that The Sun sees the Union as being ‘party poopers’ within this ‘game’ of war and this promotes a negative feeling towards the Union. This also connotes that this is a pro-war newspaper.
From this article your eyes avert to a small piece in the top right hand corner, here The Sun claim in quite a childish, playground manner that they know everything that is happening in the War first hand, reinforcing the idea that their newspaper is the one to buy if you want to the latest War news. The article states that the QE2 is also poised and ready for battle, denoting strength and dominance. This is a key signifier of confidence in defeating the opposition.
There are a few examples of myth within this piece, such as mis-information about the damage done to the Belgrano, quoting that the Belgrano was ‘not sunk’ and ‘left a useless wreck’ when in actual fact it had sunk. Also there is wrong information within the article about the type of torpedoes fired at the Belgrano.
The ideologies throughout this piece are ones of a superior, united, strong and unbeatable nation, giving the reader confidence that this is just a small problem and they shouldn’t worry about it as ‘the lads’ will sort it out. The general consensus of the article is that it is almost laughable that the Argentinians should think they can attack the British with a narrative that basically says ‘Stupid Argies, don’t you know who we are?!’

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