Mugabe must go: Textual Meanings of the Representation of the Zimbabwean Situation by the South African Press
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This article is a textual analysis of the South African press representation of the political, economic, and social situations in Zimbabwe. The article argues that the South African press presents a stereotypical and sensational view of Zimbabwe, as the international press portrays all of Africa. Further, it argues that the press’s deeper agenda is to get Mugabe to go so that Western norms of democracy and human rights can be realized. Although most international press coverage of Africa is negative, the coverage of the Zimbabwean situation merits some degree of negative coverage. However, this coverage should reflect the extent to which the public discourse among South Africans and Zimbabweans agrees with the “negative” analysis of what is happening in Zimbabwe. The South African press is reflecting the views of South Africans and Zimbabweans that, seemingly, lean towards the fact that Zimbabwe is faced with a problematic situation. The article examines the headlines, photographs, captions, and cartoons used to represent the situation in Zimbabwe. It also analyzes the metaphors, analogies, and intertexts in selected stories to thematically unpack their meanings. The representation of Zimbabwe is achieved through icons and symbols that connote the existence of a problematic situation in the country.
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