Project: Social Documentary and Race

Exercise: Positive & Negative Spin

Compare an image from a broadsheet newspaper with a tabloid image.  If possible choose two images portraying the same (or similar) person or event.  The story you choose could involve race, but it doesn’t have to.  The idea of this exercise is to show you how public perception of a person or event can be influenced by the photographic imagery used.

Read the commentary and headlines to see how the person or event is being portrayed in words, then study the images carefully.  For example, look to see whether the images have been cropped differently.

  • Where different images have been used for the same story by different papers, what do you think is the editorial basis for each choice?
  • Is each story positive or negative, sympathetic or sensational?
  • If a reader was just given the headline and the image for each story, what different conclusions might they draw?  Or is there no difference?
  • How has the imagery been used to influence/manipulate the reader?

Allegations of racism against the police up by 32% in four years Check out all the latest News, Sport & Celeb gossip at Mirror.co.uk

Black people twice as likely to be charged with drugs possession – report. The authors of the report into drug stop-and-search operations say that their findings show there is a need for fundamental change. Photograph: Gideon Mendel/Corbis The Guardian

Police give travellers in High Town car park 4pm eviction deadline Luton & Dunstable Express

£10,000 Leeds traveller injunctions foiled again. An injunction aimed at banning travellers from nuisance spots in Leeds has again been flaunted by a group from outside the city.

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