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.
|Title of host publication||The SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods|
|Editors||Eric Margolis, Luc Pauwels|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jul 2011|