Abstract: The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs—commonly referred to as drones) in journalism has emerged only recently, and has grown significantly. This article explores what makes drone imagery as an instance of what scholars of visual culture call an aerial view so compelling for major news organizations as to warrant such attention and investment. To do this, the concept ‘visual aggregation’ is introduced to theorize the authority of drone imagery in conventional journalistic practice. Imagery produced through drone journalism is a visual analogy to statistical summary and, more recently, of what is referred to as data journalism. Just as these combine an aggregate of cases to produce an understanding of an overall trend, drone imagery aggregates space visually, its broad visual field revealing large-scale spatial patterns in ways analogous to the statistical capture/analysis of large bodies of data. The article then employs a cultural and historical approach to identify key points in the emergence of visual aggregation as authoritative truth. The aerial view as a claim to truth is manifest in a wide range of antecedent social formations, devices and practices prior to their amalgamation in what has today become drone journalism. This analysis aids understanding of how drone journalism is a response to the institutional crises of journalism today.
Cementing Their Heroes: Historical Newspaper Coverage of Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Confederate Monuments
Little, Alexia (Grady M.A.) (Forthcoming). Cementing Their Heroes: Historical Newspaper Coverage of Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Confederate Monuments. Journalism History. Abstract: Following continued conflicts about Confederate monuments in American society, this study explores Civil War memory encapsulated in newspaper coverage of the initial construction and dedication of four Confederate monument. Discourse and narrative analyses of […]
The power of political journalists as deception detectors and how politicians reactivate voters’ truth-default
Abstract: Journalists serve as deception detectors for voters. Sometimes politicians refute journalists’ assertions. How do voters discern whom to believe? Based on cognitive sequences posited by truth-default theory (TDT), experiments tested voters’ reactions to alleged deceptiveness in a political news interview. In Study 1 (N = 209) perceptions of a politician being truthfully or falsely […]