Finding the Next Successor: Visual Message in Caricature Image


Caricature is a form of visual communication wherein messages are conveyed through exaggerated and often humorous distortions of characters, serving as a critique of societal issues. Caricature often serves to critique various aspects of society, including social, cultural, economic, legal, and political conditions. Similarly, the political landscape surrounding the 2024 general election has intensified, fostering active and diverse discussions through both direct and indirect media channels. Mass media visualizes the very busy pros and cons of the Indonesian future successors. The proponents and the supported people are arguing and the one that can represent them will be the leader of government in 2024-2029. Funny, amusing, and intriguing caricature images in National Mass Media are interesting to study to see how the interpretation on the form of a caricature object is using the meaningful visual signs. This research was limited to caricature images by a cartoonist, Kang Yuyun, that was published in TEMPO National mass media in January-June 2023. The object of illustrative image was limited using a purposive sample that is considered representing the objective of research. The data mining was carried out through observation, interview, document, and literature. Observation was conducted directly in Tempo’s Office, Jakarta; interview was conducted online with the cartoonist; document included the caricature images that have been published on Sunday; and literature came from scientific works such as journal, proceeding, and books. All data were collected to be validated using triangulation and then analyzed using Roland Barthes’ semiotic theory about denotation, connotation, and myth. The findings reveal that Kang Yuyun’s caricature images in TEMPO mass media during the 2024 General Election depict three groups supporting Ganjar Pranowo, Prabowo Subianto, and Anis Bawesdan as potential successors, emphasizing unity in nation-building and promotion.

Keywords: caricature, mass media, the successor, semiotics

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