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?