Press Photography and Visual Rhetoric

Terence Wright

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Visual rhetoric is concerned with understanding how images communicate, how they function in a social and cultural environment, and how they embody meaning. In the press context, photographs might be seen primarily as conveyors of information about important events in the world, but the structure of the news media and the expectations of readers somewhat complicate the matter. We have to regard press photographs as part of a complex network of cultural phenomena. Rhetoric is normally considered to be a persuasive skill, classically to convince us of a point of view; in the modern age, to encourage us to purchase goods. However, we can also consider it has a role in the formation of community identity and reinforcing our beliefs. Readers also look to photographs to convey something of the emotion of the event, or they can seek visual information that will amuse or entertain—and the news media are only too happy to comply.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods
    EditorsEric Margolis, Luc Pauwels
    PublisherSAGE Publications
    ISBN (Print)9781847875563
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jul 2011


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