Cameramen and Congresswomen: How photojournalists framed female candidates in the Year of the Woman
Presented at the Future of Journalism 2019 conference, Cardiff, UK, September 12-13
Abstract: This paper explores how female politicians were visually depicted in the 2018 midterm elections in the United States. Through a content analysis of published photographs of female candidates from both winning and losing campaigns, this work adds to the body of literature on visual framing in American politics, with a specific focus on women. 2018 showcased a record number of female candidates varying in age, race, sexual orientation and political party, so it is important to understand how women in politics are being visually depicted. This extends to the photographers themselves, especially in gender and race. The demographics of journalists can impact their coverage and while female photojournalists have been around for many years, the field is still traditionally seen as male-dominated, though that is changing. The areas of interest in our content include the nonverbal behaviors depicted in the image, the demographics of the photographers, and the media outlet the image was made for (wire vs. non-wire). A content analysis of 1,093 images reveals most were made by white male photographers, followed by white female photographers, but there is no significant difference in the way the female candidates were portrayed based on the photographer’s demographic. The female candidates were mostly portrayed with positive nonverbal expressions, regardless of political party or house/senate race. This same-ness is explored in the context of controlled election events, while also highlighting the lack of diverse photographers.
Sign this or go home: Concert photography agreements as restrictive image control devices
Abstract: Photojournalists covering concerts are increasingly being asked to sign photo agreements in exchange for access to the venue. These agreements sometimes include restrictive terms that begin to limit editorial freedoms and copyright ownership of the images, which can be seen as a problematic form of image control. This study is the first to explore […]
Judging photojournalism: The metajournalistic discourse of judges at the Best of Photojournalism and Pictures of the Year contests
(Forthcoming) Abstract: This study promotes how discussions during photojournalism award judging can be used as metajournalistic discourse to gain insight about the definition, boundaries and legitimization of the field. Journalism awards signal value, but the deliberation process offers richer insight via the judges’ comments. This study explores that process in two stages through discourse analysis […]