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“Seeing is believing ... ?” An exploration of photojournalism in war reporting and its conceptualization within the scope of War and Peace Journalism
Södertörns högskola, Institutionen för samhällsvetenskaper, Journalistik.
2020 (Engelska)Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
Abstract [en]

Journalism is a profession which bears many social and political responsibilities. Particularly war correspondence is a challenging task for professional journalists and thus constitutes a decisive part in the academic field of Journalism Studies. In order to evaluate the role of journalitic conduct in times of war, it is commonly dichotomized into two opposing concepts known as War and Peace Journalism. The concepts are most often studied in connection with text-based journalism which is why scholars have been stressing the need to create a similar conceptualization for photojournalism – a profession with a great relevance in war correspondence. First research approaches resulted in models such as War and Peace Photography which, however, only considered the visual contents of photojournalistic documents. Yet, particularly the legacy of images can be dynamic – hence, subject to change over long periods of time – and consequently alter the reception and categorization of a news photograph as either a War and Peace document. Thus, the aim of this thesis is to explore the notion that many different aspects need to be taken into account before a fair and productive categorization of such documents can be offered. In addition to the method of visual analysis, it thus entails anempirical study in a triangulation setting in which photojournalistic material on the Vietnam War, the picturesʼ captions as well as their additional documentary material regarding the broader historical and political (e.g. published interviews, governmental documents, articles) will be analyzed in three consecutive steps: (1) The photos are assessed in terms of their War or Peace classification based on their visual impression; (2) the captures are analyzed content-analytically and put in relation with the visual observations; (3) the additional documentary material is explored to understand the picturesʼ social, political, and historical genesis. For the purpose of the latter, a new category system has been defined and assigned to the sample images. Findings indicate that a visual categorization of an image are not necessarily supported by its captions as well as the respective surrounding historical, political and social circumstances. Additionally considered context might contrast the most basic definitions of War and Peace Journalism. For example, the assessed cases of War Photojournalism were not used for “propaganda” purposes – an often-ascribed feature of War Journalism. From this, it can be concluded that visuals are only one of many factors which can impact the meaning and reception of an image and, as a consequence, its categorization. Sufficient conceptualizations of photojournalistic documents should thus consider not only what is obvious but also the experiences, actions, professional values and intentions of photojournalists within the images’ prehistory and aftermath, reasons for their publication, their reception by an audience, and external influences on their respective medium.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
2020. , s. 59
Nyckelord [en]
Photojournalism, War Journalism, Peace Journalism, News images, War correspondence, Conceptualization, Journalism Studies
Nationell ämneskategori
Medievetenskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-40884OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-40884DiVA, id: diva2:1437213
Ämne / kurs
Journalistik
Uppsök
samhälle/juridik
Handledare
Examinatorer
Tillgänglig från: 2020-06-09 Skapad: 2020-06-08 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-06-09Bibliografiskt granskad

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