A Social Semiotic Study of Institutional Corruption in Editorial Cartoons of Nigeria’s Vanguard Online News Outlet
Editorial cartoon is a medium of socio-political critique and has received intellectual patronage. However, extant studies are yet to access the utilisation of semiotic resources for transmitting contextual meanings in editorial cartoons published within the Nigerian socio-cultural milieu. This article extends the frontiers of the existing literature by exploring the effect of context in the selection and appropriation of semiotic resources in selected editorial cartoons of Vanguard Online news outlet. The data include ten purposively-selected Cartoon Sargeeditorial cartoons obtained from www.vanguardngr.com). The recurring themes in the cartoons were identified and discussed via content description while Kress and van Leeuwen’s Visual Grammar and insights from Mey’s Pragmatic Acts served as theoretical underpinnings for the data analysis. The analysis reveals that the processes of meaning making in the editorial cartoons is facilitated by semiotic resources appropriated in the editorial cartoons and extralinguistic variables such as shared background knowledge of word choices, referents, references and analogies included in the editorial cartoons also add as meaning making strategies. Also, the result of the analysis indicated that editorial cartoons published within the Nigerian clime is a viable medium through which socio-political satire can be hurled in the direction of defaulting government agencies.