A Missed Opportunity? President Trump, the Truth Sandwich, and News Coverage Across an Ideological Spectrum

© Media Watch |12 (2) 177-196, 2021
ISSN 0976-0911 | E-ISSN 2249-8818
DOI: 10.15655/mw/2021/v12i2/160145

A Missed Opportunity? President Trump, the Truth Sandwich, 
and News Coverage Across an Ideological Spectrum
1Linda Jean Kenix & 2Jovita Manickam
1University of Canterbury, New Zealand
2University of Auckland, New Zealand

Many within mainstream news media wondered aloud and in print how to cover President Trump who, they purported, frequently distorted the truth. Although President Trump is no longer in office, this research remains vitally important for understanding how the press covers the office of the Presidency when the veracity of information is in question.  During President Trump’s tenure, the ‘truth sandwich,’ was suggested as a technique, whereby a fact is first stated in a news article, then a quote of the false assertion, followed by the fact again. This research aimed to explore the presence of the truth sandwich in an ideological range of news content. These findings have implications for the future coverage of Presidencies in the United States, and for governments in other countries, where the veracity of information is questionable.

Keywords: Truth sandwich, President Trump, Ideology, news
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Linda Jean Kenix is Head of the School of Language, Social, and Political Sciences at University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Prof. Kenix is interested in the visual and textual media representation of marginalized groups, the reasons for, and the consequences of that representation. She has been a visiting research fellow at the Oxford University, University of Cambridge, Monash University and the University of Valencia. 

Jovita Manickam is a Masters graduate from the University of Auckland in the Media, Film and Television Studies Programme. She is presently a Volunteer and Event Coordinator for Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand.


Correspondence to: Linda Jean Kenix, Media and Communication Department, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800 Christchurch, New Zealand 8140.