Framing 'otherness' in press photographs: The case of immigrants in Greece and Spain

Author: Batziou, Athanasia

Source: Journal of Media Practice, Volume 12, Number 1, May 2011 , pp. 41-60(20)

Publisher: Intellect

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Abstract:

This article explores the photojournalistic practices of framing immigrants as 'others' in newspapers in Greece and Spain. Photographs are capable of transmitting ideologically charged messages in subtle ways and influencing the reception and interpretation of news, regardless of the accompanying text. Drawing on framing theory and using content analysis, this study focuses on images as text loaded with cultural meaning. Findings show that press photographs use certain techniques to frame immigrants as 'others', such as depiction in groups with limited social interaction with members of the local populations, spatial distance, lack of a symbolic communication with the viewer and depiction of expressionless faces. The practice of framing immigrants as 'others' not only reflects the dominant ideology towards them in the receiving societies, it further confirms, fixes and consequently eternalizes their perception as outsiders, as corpus alienum that cannot be incorporated in the receiving society.

Keywords: Greece; Spain; immigrants; otherness; photojournalism; visual representation

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jmpr.12.1.41_1

Affiliations: National Kapodistrian University of Athens

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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  • The Journal of Media Practice is a peer-reviewed publication addressing practical work in media teaching and research. To this end, the editorial board and consultative panels comprise prominent academics and practitioners from a range of disciplines committed to the achievement of academic and professional ends through means centred on practical work.
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