Informations and abstract
Keywords: Organization studies, media studies, visual newsmaking, photojournalism, representations
This work aims to provide a better understanding of the relations between still photography and newspapers' daily representations of events. As part of a wider ethnographic research carried out for a PhD in Sociology, this is a sociological investigation into the selection of photographs used to back up written journalistic narratives in both Italian and French newspapers. Ethnographical data have been used for the analysis of the processes by which photographs are edited in newsrooms, oriented in wider contexts of meaning (as well as categories developed by means of agency archives), and finally used strategically by the daily news industry. The analytic description of these processes of negotiating meaning and professional practices reveals the presence of a photographical subculture in newsrooms, which is sometimes (and in certain newsrooms) capable of running counter to or mediating the editor's main requests, while in other cases it is ignored and reduced to a mere technical role. The study shows the importance given to photographs in producing coherent journalistic frames, particularly in events with strong politico-moral connotations.