Journalists use both words and visuals to convey and interpret information, and the public is exposed to both when attending news. Yet, extant work largely neglects visuals’ contributions to news framing and how journalists perform their professional roles. We address this research gap in two integrative studies and use HIV reporting in China as a test case. Study 1 is a content analysis of seven newspapers (2000–2015) that sheds light on how words and visuals suggest different frames and journalistic roles. Study 2 uses in-depth interviews with journalists affiliated with the newspapers where the coverage was analyzed in Study 1 to contextualize content-analytical findings. The results paint a nuanced picture of health journalism, suggesting both frame and role multiplicity. Two forms of modality interplay were predominant—namely, redundancy and congruence—while the third, mismatch, was virtually absent. Such findings can be interpreted both positively, as indicative of high-quality journalism, and negatively, as a fear of repercussions. This research is among the first to analyze both words’ and visuals’ contribution to news framing and the first to address journalistic role performance through words and visuals.
|State||Published - 2022|