Workshop 3 – Analysis of a political site

For this assignment, I have chosen to evaluate the website of the Norwegian political party Arbeiderpartiet, AP.

Content:

The site is made by a political party in Norway, so it is fair to assume that the messages will be intentionally shaped for a viewer that is familiar with a social knowledge of reality based on Norwegian culture. A major factor proving this is that the main site itself is only available in Norwegian, and the English speaking audience will only be able to get a brief history of the political party and its major issues on the English alternative of the site. Most of the buttons and selections are only available in Norwegian. The variation of Norwegian written language that AP has chosen to use is Bokmål, most likely since this is more common across the country than Nynorsk.

Design:

The webpage itself seem to be easily readable, organised and there are not too many features that could confuse the viewer. According to the dates on the articles, the page appears to be updated frequently. The logo sometimes changes position slightly when some of the buttons are pushed, which could be a specific problem to my FireFox browser, or be a sloppy mistake by the creators of the page. The site itself has a white background, and the buttons and headlines are coloured in different shades of red. The main logo is centred on the top of the page. Its denotation is a white rose on a red background, with the name of the party below it.


In connotation, this might symbolise various things for people that are part of other cultures. For the intended Norwegian viewer however, the colour red can be seen as a symbol for the political party’s on the left (red) wing, and may also present a certain sense of nationality since red is the dominant colour in the Norwegian flag. The provenance here that the rose is a well known symbol for love and friendship, and also for social democracy. It is also a commonly used symbol among other European political parties, for example the British and Irish Labour Parties.On both sides of the logo, there are placed pictures that will swap around once in a while. I will start by analysing the first picture on the left side.

The denotation of this picture, what it actually is it shows the viewer, is two smiling schoolgirls with backpacks walking down a road. The connotation, the hidden metaphors behind the picture, can be the message that AP wants to focus on school politics. The schoolgirls do not appear to be Norwegian by origin, something that could imply that AP wants more open immigration politics. The word “Solidarity” is written above them, which implies that AP wants everyone to have equal opportunities within the school system. There is also green grass in the background, something that could refer to environmental issues. The image switches to a fisherman working in a fish-farm.

This might try to get through the message that AP wants to take care of the old primary industries. The ocean with mountain in the background looks like a typical Norwegian environment, something that might imply that they want to keep the oceans and fjords clean, especially with the recent oil tanker leaks that has been covered by the media, and the strengthened focus on global warming nowadays. The word “Equality” can be seen at the bottom of the picture, which could be there to make the viewer think that AP wants to strive for equal possibilities in the working sector.

The first picture on the right side shows an elderly lady together with a younger woman dressed in white. The picture makes the viewer assume that the woman in white is a healthcare worker, and the picture may want to show us that AP prioritizes taking care of old people. The green leaves in the background once again hints towards a clean and healthy environment. The second image shows a portrait photo the AP front figure, and current Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg.

He looks directly at the viewer and smiles, something that shows him as caring and trustworthy. White circular pencil strokes cover some of the edges of the pictures. This might be just to make them look more artistic, or they can maybe symbolize the wind or the waves, that would both characterize the Norwegian climate.The site has an interactive calendar with important dates with political meetings etc. on the left sidebar. On the top of the right sidebar, there is a reference to the famous Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen, which might show the viewers that AP cares about the Norwegian cultural heritage. There is also a scrolling selection bar where you can find out more about AP’s opinion on certain political issues. The main page itself shows a summary over current news items concerning the political party, in a somewhat similar style to a tabloid, with links the viewer can click on to get further information. The news articles appear to be updated frequently, and are all up to date. The linking style of the webpage appears to be in a NAV style, with all pages available on a navigation bar.

In conclusion, AP does not appear to have any videos and sound effects on the webpage, therefore it is hard to find any experimental meaning potential, the meaning behind how you articulate a message. The site uses modes such as text, pictures and colours to get their expression through. The language is intended for a Norwegian viewer, and is therefore mainly in Norwegian written-language. The pictures help to show the viewer the different issues and values the party wants to focus on.

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