Country leaders or Instagram stars? A comparative study about portrayals of mediatised politics in the East and the West
The emergence of digital media has opened new doors for political communication and has removed the barrier of mass media which prevented politicians from directly communicating with the public. This has also intensified the process of mediatisation, resulting in a lack of political logic in politics and the increasing domination of media logic in political communication. The current research aims to study how mediatised politics is portrayed in the East and the West by taking the political leaders of Egypt and the United Kingdom as case studies. Due to the increased popularity of visuals in political communication and the persuasive qualities of images, this study focused on the analysis of visuals. Given Instagram’s popularity as an image-sharing platform, 160 images were gathered from the Instagram accounts of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. The selected images were then analysed through a Visual Critical Discourse Analysis, guided by the main concepts of the study, namely framing, which was used to investigate portrayals of media and political logic, and celebrity politics. The analysis of the images resulted in five distinct patterns which demonstrated how the politicians presented themselves on the social media platform and the techniques they used to send their messages to the public. These patterns were the political leaders' representations as ordinary citizens, father or son figures, overseers of projects, people celebrating holidays or commemorating memorial days, and country leaders. Although the patterns were mostly common between both leaders, and the role of media logic was apparent in both of their images, there was a distinct difference in the ways both leaders presented themselves online. The most evident difference between how each of them crafted their online personas through mediatised politics was that while Boris Johnson used social media to look more like an average citizen through the commercialisation of his images, Abdelfattah El Sisi's images portrayed him as a powerful political leader with strong ties to other world leaders through the concept of connectivity.
|, , , , , ,|
|Dr Débora Antunes|
|Media & Creative Industries|
|Organisation||Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication|
Lusatsin Ghazelyan. (2022, June 27). Country leaders or Instagram stars? A comparative study about portrayals of mediatised politics in the East and the West. Media & Creative Industries. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/64968