Minor Assignment

3538 words - 15 pages

Historically, print news has focused on the importance of text and where images have been used, little attention is given to the function of these images in conveying news discourse. However, the relationship between the verbal and the visual deserves further attention. Images have a powerful impact on a viewer’s response towards news and this impact cannot be created by text alone. A critical examination of three recent news events (see appendix) and analysis of the images that they utilise, reveals the communicative functions and the connotative force that is carried in news photography (Bednarek and Caple 2012, pg. 57). By studying these photographs through analytical frameworks, we see ...view middle of the document...

At times, images can be regarded as partners in the retelling of news happenings and are capable of adding relevant information to the words. Therefore, as Bednarek and Caple (2012, pg. 135) states: it is important to develop specific frameworks for not just analysing the relationship between language and image, but also for a “systematic analysis of meanings to be made in the language and the image individually so that the two can be brought together.” Our focus turns to the construing of news values by both language and text.
News values have primarily been described in terms of the factors that take an event into the news, they are the preferences of the expected audience and it is news values that determine what makes something worthy of being news (Bednarek and Caple 2012, pg. 40). The values included in this study: Negativity, Timeliness, Proximity, Prominence, Consonance, Impact, Novelty, Superlativeness and Personalization are not finite and news values are not limited to these nine specific categories (Bednarek and Caple 2012, pg. 42). We conceptualize news values in terms of how newsworthiness is construed through linguistic rhetoric and imagery techniques. As Bednarek and Caple (2012, pg. 45) states, this discursive approach reveals that news values are not ‘inherent’ aspects of events or internalized beliefs but are actually constructed by language and image. The producers of news use linguistic devices to maximize news values, adapting specific choices in language, vocabulary, structure and word combinations. Similarly, technical and aesthetic considerations, such as angle and focus, along with other key photographic devices can be tied to the construing of news values in images. This will be investigated further in our analysis of the texts and in the appendix.
Furthermore, Bednarek and Caple believe that news values are actually enhanced “by construing the image as beautiful” (2012, pg. 178). The purpose of image composition is to create a visually compelling picture, arranging different elements inside an image frame in a way that would evoke the interest of the viewer. Drawing on Bednarek and Caple’s (2012, pg. 164) ‘Balance Framework,’ images can be described as either isolating (focusing on one element) or iterating (several elements), which is then further divided in other categories, depending on the images’ characteristics (i.e. whether the elements are matching, facing or scattered). This arrangement of elements within the image frame contributes to the aesthetic appeal of images. By combining the construing of news values with the meaningful compositional choices that are made in the images, journalists are ultimately drawing in and engaging their target audience.
Attached in the appendix is an analysis summary table of the all three texts. By comparing the analysis of three news stories from three different publishers, a comparison between the significant findings is offered and our understanding of the frameworks...

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