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Word versus Image

Word versus Image

(p.89) 7 Word versus Image
Death Makes the News
Jessica M. Fishman
NYU Press

During news coverage of various events, images are treasured as important and even necessary—so much so that journalists—those whose livelihoods depend on the weight of the word—treat pictures as superior to words when they claim with conviction that, when tragedy strikes, the pictures write it best. “A picture is worth a thousand words” is the cliché of choice when we champion pictures for achieving what words fail to accomplish. While we often embrace the influence of the image, there is a major exception. When the dead enter the frame, our opinion of the news image dynamically flip-flops, revealing a remarkable anti-picture prejudice where words are now vastly preferred.

Keywords:   news coverage, word, image, picture, prejudice

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