Conveying information through images is one of the most effective, emotion-arousing forms of communication.- Research has shown that emotional content is the mostlikely to become viral, as are “awe-inspiring” stories thatforce readers to view the world differently.- News-related images are more likely to be shared thanhumorous ones, according to research by Social MediaExpert Dan Zarrella.- “Vivid” images are particularly effective because theypresent content in a “language” that is understood by allpeople, regardless of literacy, culture, etc. All brains havethe same capability of interpreting images.
In Perspective Read this Washington Post story and view some photos depicting the 1999 Kosovo conflict.Note the differences in detail between these twofeatures: the use of imagery through words versusimagery through photos.• Photos were successful in capturing emotion throughtears, facial expressions, dead bodies, etc.• Which medium did you personally prefer?
What goes into consideration when selecting images for publication?1. Subject: immediately recognizable; audience can easily understand the point of the photo2. Quality: colors, shading, resolution, size, clarity are in harmony3. Relevance: the photo directly relates to and complements the accompanying story, if there is one4. Effect: provoking discussion, emotion, action from audience5. Taste: Will the photo offend, frighten, or disturb the audience? Disclaimer necessary?
Why is it such a big deal?There is an argument that the media’s use of dramatic, compelling photos sensationalizes serious issues, orexploits them for profit rather than journalistic purposes. Controversial Examples: Click photos to enlarge and read more
ACTIVITYYou are the editor of the New York Times. Youmust select one of these photos to accompany a front page story about the Somali famine. How will you make your Click to view larger decision? images
Remember the 5 criteriaSubject – Quality – Relevance – Effect – Taste Are the photos “scary?” Do they add to the story? Evoke emotions? Based on previous examples, discu ss potential audience
Results“The fact that people far away can see with visceral immediacy the facts of a crisislike the one now hitting the Horn of Africa is one of the most optimistic aspects ofthe modern world. Consciences are awakened by the camera ... [these pictures]tell the whole world what will happen across the region unless urgent internationalaction comes immediately.” – Jonathan Jones, The Guardian “The photographs fail to show the reason why so many people have reached this state of destitution. Underneath the high visibility famine lies an age-old and sustainable way of living that has been disrupted by a modern world system, and whose ability to adapt to the cycle of drought has been severely undermined.” – Helen de Jode, The Guardian NYT Executive Editor Bill Keller stood by it: “[Our photographers] sent us a harrowing story and vivid, arresting photographs. We put them before the attention of our readers. Thats our job.”
Images, continuedDiscussion:• How did you feel after viewing the Times’slideshow?• After seeing the photos, do you feel morecompelled to take action to help the Somalicause?• Where is the line for journalists betweeninforming the public and advocating for asocial issue?• Is it okay for TIME’s “100 to advocate for globalRelated content: journalistsPhotos that Changed theWorld” Are there exceptions?crises?