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Branding newspapers: visual texts as social practice

Machin, David and Niblock, Sarah 2008. Branding newspapers: visual texts as social practice. Journalism Studies 9 (2) , pp. 244-259. 10.1080/14616700701848287

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Since the turn of the century there has been a trend towards newspaper re-branding with increased attention to fonts, colours, layout and choices of images. Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) offers one useful tool for analysing the meaning potentials of these choices and the discourses that they realise. However, this paper, addressing one of the major criticisms of CDA, that it fails to consider the role of production factors in explaining textual choices, looks at these changes in the context of the re-branding of one newspaper. It shows how these must be understood as part of the more recent commercialisation of the news media, its alignment with marketing, and specifically with the market research profiling which lies behind the re-brand in this case. What we see are textual choices made in the context of news production aimed in the first place at consumers rather than citizens or readers. The paper demonstrates that failure to see the textual choices in the context of the social practice of news production would fail to provide any meaningful analysis.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1461-670X
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:11

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