Neoliberalism and mediatisation in the “miracle” election: the semiotics of the 1994 South African election on global North TV news

Bernadine Jones

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In the age of post-truth journalism, with Trump and Brexit dominating news, we tend to forget that mediatisation and a push for neoliberal narratives has been on our screens for decades. The global coverage of the 1994 South African election is one such example. This research paper investigates how a snapshot of global North news channels reported on this election, and shows that visuals and spectacle were highlighted at the expense of a clear and deep analysis of the complex transition from apartheid to democracy. The research questions guiding this investigation asked two things: how was the 1994 election portrayed on global North television news, and whether journalists used mediatised reporting (including neoliberal narratives, post-Cold War frames, and media logic) to describe the election. This paper presents firstly an overview of relevant literature pertaining to themes of reporting about elections, secondly a brief description of the methods of investigation including the dedicated analysis technique, and thirdly the findings from the research. This paper ends with a discussion about the narratives of the 1994 election and concludes by comparing the mediatised reporting in 1994 to the "trumpification" of journalism in recent years.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2017
EventFuture of Journalism - Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Sep 2017 → …


ConferenceFuture of Journalism
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period14/09/17 → …


  • mediatisation
  • Political Communication
  • journalism
  • South Africa
  • neoliberalism
  • visual analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Neoliberalism and mediatisation in the “miracle” election: the semiotics of the 1994 South African election on global North TV news'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this