Integrative Framing. Exploring the Combined Value of Verbal and Visual Elements
In recent decades, framing has become one of the most popular intellectual guides in analysing news production and consumption processes. The central idea behind framing is selection: social actors and media-makers present and emphasise only a fraction of the available information to the audience. The frame, i.e. the chosen interpretation of an issue, marks off other possible interpretations (e.g. Gitlin, 1980), while it “simplifies and condenses the ‘world out there’” (Snow & Benford, 1988, p. 137). Despite the overarching potential of framing, most academic inquiry nowadays focuses on the language employed, leaving the impression that visuals are “window dressing for or decorative distraction from the verbal component of television news, which is studied as the ‘real’ content” (Grabe & Bucy, 2009, p. 77). Yet, viewing one channel of communication in isolation (visual or verbal) is not only artificial and incomplete, but also prevents us from understanding the holistic message viewers receive (Coleman, 2010). Nonetheless, visual framing may be able to overcome the cognitive barriers that have the capacity to weaken the effects of verbal framing (Callaghan, 2005), making it possible for viewers to overlook the fact that visuals are man-made constructions (i.e. camera angles, selection and editing practices, etc). Because verbal and visual elements work in tandem and audiences process them simultaneously (Coleman, 2010), this project looks at the verbal and visual framing of unemployed people in Germany in order to explore the question: How can complex frames, consisting of verbal and visual elements, be analysed? References Callaghan, Karen (2005). Conclusion: Controversies and New Directions in Framing Research. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. Coleman, R. (2010). Framing the Pictures in Our Heads. Exploring the Framing and Agenda-Setting Effects of Visual Images. New York: Routledge Gitlin, T. (1980). The whole world is watching: mass media in the making & unmaking of the New Left. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press. Grabe, Maria Elizabeth & Bucy, Erik P. (2009). Image bite politics: news and the visual framing of elections. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Snow, D. A., & Benford, R. D. (1988). Ideology, frame resonance and participant mobilization. In B. Klandermans, H. Kriesi & S. Tarrow (Eds.), From structure to action: comparing social movements research across cultures (pp. 137196). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.