Picturing The President: Visual Analysis of The Donald Trump Presidency on US Magazine Covers Between 2016 and 2018

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Magazine Covers, Visual Framing, Visual Discourse Analysis, Donald Trump and Media Coverage, Photojournalism

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We examine the visual representations of Donald Trump on the covers of three national newsmagazines from 2016 to 2018 and find four tropes: Trump as a circus performer, Trump as a wrecker, Trump as corrupt, and Trump as an unconcerned president. As a circus performer, Trump is portrayed as a manipulator; as a wrecker, he appears intent on destroying American society; as a corrupt president, his relations with Russia are highlighted; and as an unconcerned president, he appears unbothered by the impact of his policies on Americans. The visuals echo the dominant media narratives of Trump as a narcissistic and unfit president.

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Journal of Magazine Media, v. 21, issue 1, p. 51-81