What is visual journalism?

Visual journalism is the combination of text, images and layout.

The visual appearance of the paper is created with photographs, illustrations, comics, maps and other graphical solutions.

Visual journalism is thus a wider concept than photojournalism. Typography, graphic design, photojournalism, movies and the development of television and information technology have all had an influence on the development and trends of visual journalism.

In one sense data journalism is visual journalism when tables, maps and graphics are used to portray it.

Multimedia means the combining of images, videos, text and other digital content, especially on web platforms.

Visual journalism is a wider concept than photo journalism.

Modern online newspapers and magazines have the technical conditions to employ multimodality in journalism.

Good examples of pioneers in this field include the British newspaper the Guardian, and the US-based newspaper The New York Times. These papers have experimented with the use of text, pictures, videos and infographics in a same article offering a multimedia experience that goes beyond the possibilities of any traditional media channels.

The trend of the digital age is that articles become shorter and images become larger. Also high-quality papers are nowadays highly visual. In addition to digitalization, this is explained by the popularity of television and the personification of politics and journalism.

Some useful concepts explained

News personalization is a phenomenon that is part of a wider trend of news tabloidization, entertainization and commercialization. It refers to the fact that news of broader social issues are more and more transmitted though stories of individual human experience. At the same time the division between public and private life have become blurred.

Tabloidization is a frequently used term employed by journalists, media critics and academics to characterize a recent trend in the mass media. It refers to the fact that journalism is shifting its focus away from politics and foreign affairs towards entertainment and celebrities.

Keep Reading:

Photojournalism; The basics of video expression
Or go back to the beginning of this section: Photography; Videography.