Reading response # 5

This week, read:

What do photos and other visuals add to stories? Do they always add, or do they ever detract? Give specific examples (include links whenever possible).

Post your response by Sunday, March 6 at 11:59 p.m.


11 thoughts on “Reading response # 5

  1. Pictures help enhance a story and provides the reader with greater emotion. Pictures allow the viewer to see what is actually going on, instead of reading or hearing the story. Plus, pictures last longer! At times pictures can take away from a story. Especially photos that are hard to look at. For instance, a photo of someone who has been beaten down pretty badly. It makes a person want cringe and immediately exit the page. But, in all this photo can be an eye opener and bring awareness to abuse. Photos that aren’t planned or rehearsed are the best in my opinion . As mentioned in the article “11 Tips for Better Candid Photography,” candid photos are becoming popular and are taken more and more often. What exactly is candid photography? “Candid photography is the act of taking pictures of people in their most candid form, or when they are acting the most natural.” ( ) There are many other tips that can help you take candid photos. Make sure to check out the link mentioned above.


  2. Personally, I think photos will always add to any story because one photo can tell a thousand words. Photos always gives a reader a visual of the story being told and can actually keep their attention. For example, the famous story, snowfall (, has a large amount of visuals and imagery to tell the story of the avalanche. I believe if those images were not available then I would have lost interest in the entire article. Also, photos give a chance to the reader to interpret the images and relate it back to the story. This allows them to create their own perspective on the story and create a new depth for them. For example, in the article by Darren Rowse, the photo of the bride and the groom laughing together tells me that they are happy together or they could have heard a funny joke. So by having this one photo it gives me a chance to interpret this on my own as well as having the words of the story follow after.
    Another good point is by Briggs where he states “A journalist can easily replace words with images, improving the experience for the audience and improving the efficiency of the journalist. But doing it well takes patience, practice, and preparation.” A Journalist can use visuals to help their story, but it is important for them to make sure to do it well. They cannot put a photo in their article that has nothing to do with their story. So even though images should be included, it is still important that it is done well.


  3. When I took a Feature & Magazine writing class, my professor told me that photos in an article or story can show the emotion you want. Sometimes when writing, the reader can’t really grasp the emotion the writer is trying to portray so I think photos and visuals are a key to writing. If the writer wants the reader to think more about the piece of writing and put their own perspective on it, then maybe visuals shouldn’t be added to that piece.

    Photographs tell a story in their own way. You can take a single picture and it can write a thousand words. But only if you take the right one. I was reading this article ( and the writer said, “Photographs that may deaden the prose of a fiction writer might enliven the work of an essayist; the same photographs that enable the precision of the journalist might inspire the whimsy of a poet.” I don’t think that photographs can be distracting. I mean if a journalist was to post a picture of a cat when their article is about a dog I would think to myself ‘what the hell does this picture have to do with anything’. So as long as the picture is relevant to your story and makes an impact on the reader, it will work and make your writing more powerful.


  4. Having any visuals to add to pieces can enable and bring out more of an appealing nature. Journalist will normally use pictures to communicate what cant be put into words. Photos create credibility as well if its something possible controversial which magnifies factual evidence. Most readers or audiences are seeking out pictures to get a better understanding. On the contrary, some pictures can be over bearing and a distraction. If not in the right place or let alone necessary photos can give the wrong implication and misunderstanding. Overall, photos make the difference in the right matter within journalism and most of the time it behooves journalist to do so.


  5. Personally, I feel visual add a more emotional feel. It’s hard to put a reader or an audience where you (the writer) are. That’s reserved for those extremely good and colorful writers who do that for a living. But that’s a certain type of writer, not every writer can creatively use words, adjectives, and analogies to paint a picture. I feel visuals/photos do that job for every other writer out there that can’t illustrate with words. For example, in Darren Rowse’s article he states “Images of people doing things tend to be much more interesting than people sitting passively doing nothing.” The point of visuals is to bring the article a little bit more to life in my opinion. However, visuals don’t just refer to pictures of people doing thing. They refer to charts and sometimes data and that helps more because people have short attention spans and would rather see the important information in a picture than read about it. But for those who examine both, the charts and data quantify things. Personally, I don’t think they ever detract, but I can see why it might be considered. Sometimes there are photos that have nothing to do with its subject matter and a reader can think about why the author used the photo more than actually reading the info. Are photos taken by the author more insightful than reusing ones from a website?


  6. Photos add many aspects to a story. They can give faces to a name, demonstrate visual proof, draw more emotion out of an audience, and make a description of an instance more graphic. In big events that occurred, like the Boston Bombing, one immediately connects the image of people crossing a finish line with a large spark from the bomb going off in the side. When you think of 9/11, your brain visualizes a plane hitting a tower and smoke coming out of the towers. It’s almost an immediate reaction for your brain to connect an event with a visual representation of it, so pictures are definitely very influencing to an audience. Ultimately, pictures don’t just offer these aspects, they offer an explanation that sometimes words can’t describe–like in an emotional and/or disastrous event. This is what I think Briggs tries to explain when he says pictures replace words at times.

    Pictures can always add emphasis to a story or appeal to emotions of people, but sometimes they detract from a story. It’s almost like a picture is mandatory for journalists to put in a story, and it could just be irrelevant or unnecessary.

    Here is a perfect example of a sports event that occurred recently. Nate Diaz vs Conor McGregor fought and a reporter stated “A hard right hand rattled McGregor who got desperate and failed in a take-down attempt which led to Diaz submitting the Notorious one, handing him his first defeat in the UFC.” This is better shown in the picture of the article


  7. What do photos and other visuals add to stories? Do they always add, or do they ever detract? Give specific examples (include links whenever possible).

    Photos/visuals add an element of realism to a topic. By realism I mean that sometime a story doesn’t hit home until the visuals sink in. These subjects can be things like the refugee situation ( and everyday tragedies like the death of innocents ( I believe that these types of images add to a story because when journalist write they want the reader to be able to create the image in their mind. This isn’t always the case which is why actual photos are necessary. Images help further the story because they “pick up the slack” that writing alone can’t. Also I believe that journalist should provide a disclaimer for these photographs for those who can’t stomach the images that way readers have a choice in the content they view ( I also agree with Briggs when he states “if you publish all of your images the same size…photos will loose their impact” (Briggs, 176). Quantity is good but quality is far better. I also believe that items such as videos can possible detract because maybe a viewer will just watch the video and ignore the text in the story below ( This is a problem but at least in one way the viewer got the story. Overall I believe that photos/visuals are necessary in todays world of journalism.


  8. Photos and other visuals allow the journalist to express what can’t be written or what shouldn’t be written. Visual aids help put a scene or face to the story. In Brigg’s Chapter 5, Briggs talk about how digital journalism helps writers replace words with pictures. The expression a picture is worth a thousand words pretty much sums up why visual aids are not only very useful but important as well.

    I think sometimes visual aids might be distracting but for the most part they add even more to a story. However, I think a lot of things could be titles quote on quote detracting, some people are distracted by font size and style. All in all i thin visual aids help complete a good story .


  9. I think that visuals can really help a story, especially if it is published online. Infographics like this one –> are always a nice format for taking in information. Gifs can add a comedic element so some stories like this one –> And other stories depend on the visuals 100% like this one –> and this one –> One quote from the Brigg’s was, “journalism without photographs is like writing without verbs.” I definitely agree with this when we talk about modern journalism. One of the questions you asked was if images detract from a story, I don’t think that they do. It’s all about quality – if your writing is good then the images won’t detract from your words.


  10. Photography is a form of art that tells a story without words. Photos and visuals are crucial to telling a story that has a lot of information. The reader is able to understand the story more by viewing the photo in it’s exact nature. In the news, visuals are used all the time to express the simplicity of a story. In the article titled, Guidelines for Better Photographic Composition, talks about the necessity of composition. It explains the importance of capturing a photo that isn’t to distracting to the audience. In news stories, the use of uncomplicated backgrounds is used to tell an effective story. With this comes simplicity that is expressed by focusing on one main object.

    Having a sense of expression with photojournalism is important. As journalists, Briggs expresses what Young explains that we need “to focus first and foremost on building expertise in their communities and beats and finding great stories, second on the specific areas of expertise they can bring to bear to tell those stories and finally on collaboration with others whose skills complement theirs,” and I agree that we must be proficient in telling a story with a photo. Having a photo that the audience can base opinions off of is the goal for successful journalist. As journalists, we must remain unbiased towards the situations we cover but with photos and visuals, we are able to show a specific point of view based on what we see or how we feel. That is why I think it is important to execute photojournalism and the tips presented by Darren Rowse and Driggs are important to take note of.


  11. Photos and other visuals add the ability for a storywriter to convey facts through the viewer’s senses, according to Briggs. In a nutshell, it creates a form of visual storytelling. Adding photos also allows a viewer obtain a real feel of the story from various point of views. Briggs stated, “Journalism without photographs is like writing without verbs.” Photographs are essential to aid in proving a point in journalism. In Journalism Next, Briggs also stated photos can improve the overall experience for the audience, and improve the effectiveness of the journalist.

    Although photos mainly appeal to viewers, they can at times be distracting, depending on the composition of the photo. It is important to give the center of interest in your photo the most visual consideration. This helps a viewer’s eyes to focus on the message a journalist is aiming to depict in a photo. The article titled, Guidelines for Better Photographic Composition, says one way to effectively prevent distraction is to use uncomplicated backgrounds. All three of this week’s readings agree framing is a key component to an effective photo. Depending on which point of view a photo is taken in can affect a photo’s overall focus for its audience. It can also affect the overall quality of a photo. Lastly, all of the articles this week also agree candid style photography is extremely effective, as it gives more of an honest feel to its viewers. For example, catching a model off guard can be more appealing than a precisely planned photo.


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