From The Apprentice to the White House: Donald Trump As a Media-Communicational Phenomenon in Light Of Some Communication, Media, and Information Theories

Francisco Peredo Castro


Editorials term Donald Trump an abuser of Twitter due to his crushing, incendiary messages. His communicational Tweetland parallels the traditional media (his “enemies”). Since his campaign, the media have challenged him, but they follow him because his nonsense gets ratings. His irritable, erratic, protocol-jettisoning behavior has caused diplomatic tensions. However, it is insufficient to just label the persona: we can explain it using communications and media theories. Agenda-setting theory makes it possible to recognize how specific media, events, and figures are protagonists in “setting the agenda” of the media discussion. This –plus the fact that “he received the support of millions of citizens (above all white, blue-collar men without higher education, but not only them” (Volpi, 2017)– invites us to look at another set of ideas: uses and gratifications theory. This article aims to explain Trump, the showman who went from being a media-communicational phenomenon to the presidency.


Trump; spectacle; theories; communications; media



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