Written By Jody Le
In today’s society, the construction of personal identity can be viewed, to some extent, as problematic and difficult. The youth of today is surrounded by influential imagery, especially that produced by the media. Today, arguably everything associated with our lives is seen as shaped and affected by the media, or ‘media saturated’. For example, Australia’s parliament may be very easygoing and companionable, however the media plants the idea in our minds, that maybe, behind closed doors, parliament is a hostile, bitter environment. To create this image, the media uses many language techniques, including pun, generalization, verbal irony, tone, quotes and statistics, and visual techniques such as symbolism, body language, doctoring or Photo shop, and positioning.
The given text is in the form of a news article, and is entitled “PM’s BBQ party strikes a snag”. The article provides a persuasive argument against Julia Gillard, claiming that contrary to belief, parliament has major problems. It is heavily based on the unexpected outcome of Julia Gillard’s special caucus meeting and it strongly suggests that the Labor party has many factions and Gillard doesn’t have the support of everyone, because many members of parliament weren’t present. I believe that the article is directed at an older audience because the main topic discussed, politics, can be considered quite dull and boring by younger generations. The article has a very strong persuasive tone, with an underlying condescending note, as it tries to persuade of how desperate Julia Gillard is to hold onto her post as Prime Minister.
The first and most obvious language technique in the article was the use of a pun in the headline. The pun plays on the two different meanings of the word ‘snag’, snag meaning an unexpected or hidden obstacle or drawback, and snag being a colloquial term for a sausage. The use of a pun in a news headline is such...