News has changed from a text dominant platform to a multimodal news discourse, which now is inclusive of visual tracks. The move towards multi-semiotic news platforms has changed the nature of news and how news happenings are presented to readers. Moya (2011, p. 2983) states, “Images and language have their own specific potentials, that is, their own affordances to make meaning. It is apparent that contemporary news discourse is constructed through image composition and the placement of news values. This essay analyses to the construction of the visual and verbal tracks and how this helps create meaning about a news event to audiences. Therefore this essay proposes that image-text cohesion in news articles provides meaning about news happenings through ‘newsworthy’ elements. Bednarek and Caple’s (2012) ‘News Discourse’ provides the principal frameworks for this essay and how news happenings are presented across images in the ‘Balance framework’ (p.160-180), ‘Text-image relations in news discourse’ (p.120-136) and ‘Construing news values in discourse’ (p.39-83). Their frameworks are used alongside Moya, Meinhof, Marissa and Wilkinson to form this essay’s argument about image-text unity. The images addressed are from ‘Health and Wellbeing’ articles that can be analysed to show a relationship between verbal and visual content in contemporary publishing.
In terms of image and text relationships Moya proposes, “verbal and visual modalities are studied and contrasted as separate texts which function independently of each other” (2011, p. 2983). However it is proposed that a multimodal approach should be taken to understand meaning provided to readers given from a verbal-visual cohesion. Similarly Marissa suggests that in order to comprehend meaning multi-semiotic resources should be researched (2011, p. 579). In regards to images, Caple argues that the change to image dominance provokes the need to see image composition in articles as complimentary to verbal information being construed to readers. Wilkinson proposes that the socio-historical “changes in technology and economics of news are bringing about new practices, organizational strucutres and even new positions and roles” (2009, p.12) which arguably refers to press photographers who focus on image composition.
Bednarek and Caple (2012 p. 40) highlight the importance how images and text present meaning through ‘news values’ as proposed by Bell who states, “values by which one ‘fact’ is deemed more newsworthy than another’. Bednarek and Caple (2012, p. 40) argue that newsworthiness of news happenings is determined by the news values that construct the text and image. Various literary devices in articles such as evaluative, intensified, emotive language establish news values. Bednarek and Caple (2012, p. 41) summarise that significant news values include: negativity, timeliness, proximity, prominence, consonance, impact, novelty, superlativeness and personalization. The use of these news values to construe meaning is apparent in the images analysed in this essay.
The Telegraph’s chosen image for the article, Greens kill cancer genes depicts a young girl happily eating broccoli. With reference to Bednarek and Caple’s framework, this image is isolating, axial. Both the girl and the bowl of broccoli are positioned off the image centre and the younger girl is shown to be a more dominant figure than the broccoli, which is the secondary focus across a diagonal axis. Within the image the girl’s clothing and the broccoli are contrasting colours and highlight the attention of the viewers eye to traverse the diagonal axis to attain meaning from the image. According to The Daily Telegraph (Roy Morgan Research 2012) readers of the Telegraph’s ‘Lifestyle’ section as mid to older aged families who may view the axial composition and identify this news happening through the young girl in the image and relate the bowl of greens to good health.
Bednarek and Caple provide a...
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