Mary Bock, who will join the School of Journalism as assistant professor in the fall, presented "Face to Face with the Other: Perp Walks and Mug Shots as Journalistic Tropes" on June 4, 2012.
She spoke about her research on common visual news tropes, such as mug shots and perp walks – when police walk an alleged perpetrator into a courthouse. These news tropes are used to illustrate news stories about crimes and trials.
The George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case provides a recent, salient example of this visual discourse. Bock examined this case and added it to a larger, ongoing investigation that employs two qualitative methods, textual analysis and ethnography to examine the way these images are used by the various stakeholders in the news process.
The discursive strategies employed by journalists, and the ethical considerations related to those discursive strategies were also explored. The project points to a need by journalists to carefully consider the effects of their creation of and use of such images.
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