Analysing web-based multimodal texts: The case of news stories


This paper reports on a research project that focuses on contemporary digital manifestations of multimodal news media production on the internet, in particular online news galleries. We see online news galleries as sites for emerging genres of multimodal news reporting. They are sequences of images and verbal text (usually in the form of a heading and caption) that have been ‘organised into collections through some underlying principle or purpose’ (Caple and Knox, 2012: 215), for example, in relation to an event (e.g. Boston Marathon bombings), a theme (e.g. Dogs in frocks), or personality (e.g. Margaret Thatcher). In this seminar, we will focus on how we have developed a system for classifying online news galleries that tells us about how words and images combine to make meaning in this multimodal environment. In exploring image and caption sequencing, image selection, and text-image relations as they are presented in the image-caption complex (also reported on in Caple 2013), we present methodological and analytical issues that will be of interest to all researchers who are grappling with the complex minefield of text-image relations.

This seminar will be jointly hosted with the Institute of Education’s Centre for Multimodal Research

Helen Caple, University of New South Wales, Sydney, (and John Knox, Macquarie University, Sydney.)

Caple, H. (2013), Photojournalism: A Social Semiotic Approach. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Caple, H. and Knox, J.S. (2012), ‘Online news galleries, photojournalism and the photo essay’, Visual Communication, 11(2): 207-236.

17:30-18:30, 4th December 2013.
Room 804, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, WC1H 0AL

Registration is free but places must be booked here: