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"One picture is worth ten thousand words"

By jardinier ·
This familiar maxim was coined (according to the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations) by Frederick R. Barnard, in the publication "Printers? Ink" on March 10, 1927.

Having noticed some time ago that photographs (or other images) really enhance the pages of my websites, as WELL AS telling a story, I now look for stories that are accompanied by a photo (of a person, event etc) which not only adds great visual appeal to the story, but also adds factors that could not be equally well expressed in words -- such as the particular expression on a person's face in a particular situation.

Unfortunately this is BAD for television news, because stories which have film footage almost invariably take precedence over more serious news items for which there is no film.

But it gives my websites a real boost. I was inspired to start this thread after seeing the results of a poll in The Walkley (a publication by and for persons in the Australian media) asking which features members would like to see more of.

Here are the results of the poll (still ongoing):

Photographic Reportage: 46.3%

Humorous Pieces: 15.7%

Social Stories: 12%

Regional Stories: 9.3%

Arts: 6.5%

International News: 5.6%

Language Pieces: 4.6%

So my questions are:

1. Do you think pictorial reporting (still pics or video) tells a story more vividly than words?

2. Do you think (leaving aside bias in choice of particular pictures) images convey a more accurate account of some event?

3. Would you prefer NO pictures, but just text (or spoken words in the case of TV) as pictures have a strong emotional appeal making it easier to introduce deliberate bias into news reporting?

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Already off topic

by oneamazingwriter In reply to "One picture is worth ten ...

Photographic Reportage: 46.3%

Humorous Pieces: 15.7%

WOW! According to this I can publish a picture of myself and please 62%

(Sorry, Julian, I just couldn't resist. I guess I'm with the 15.7, huh?)

OK...a more serious response (C'mon Beth, you can do this thing!)

1. No
2. No
3.No

I would prefer :
4. A picture beside accurate descriptive text, in case I miss some details in the picture that would add to my understanding.

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not really off topic

by rob mekel In reply to Already off topic

as pictures (stills or video) do tell a lot and text is often subversive your 4th option isn't a luxury to ignore.

Okay you start off topic, special if you mean the avatar y're having on now (as you say, couldn't resist ) but got to the topic real quick.

Rob

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Just another tool

by jdclyde In reply to "One picture is worth ten ...

First, pictures are more often used to distort what is really going on than it is to acurately show an event.

Example: A politician that the press disagrees with, will have a photo that is "less than flattering" printed (usually with mouth open, looking stupid), while the one that is agreed with will have a real nice shot.

This is also used as an attention getter, because people in general are stupid and lazy. They look at the pic because it is too much effort to read the story.

I prefer a video, provided it isn't just a sound bite taken out of context. This is often used to also distort the truth (lie). When you play a PART of someones reply to a question without playing the question and the WHOLE reply, this is often done to make someone look bad intentionally because of either wanting ratings or because of an agenda.

I don't like how most "reporting" isn't. Most is now editorializing and opinionating. Keep the emotion and personal discriptors out. Just REPORT what happened and let ME decide how to take the story.

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Good Pictures Augment Good Text

by Wayne M. In reply to "One picture is worth ten ...

Both pictures (I will include drawings, diagrams, charts, etc. in this category) and text can be used to reveal or deceive or be entirely gratuitous. Used well, they complement each other and help the author or speaker convey his message. My responses to the questions are below.

1. Do you think pictorial reporting (still pics or video) tells a story more vividly than words?

It depends. Some information is better conveyed graphically, while some is better conveyed verbally. Most information, however, is at neither extreme and can benefit from having both.

2. Do you think (leaving aside bias in choice of particular pictures) images convey a more accurate account of some event?

Images convey a different set of information than words. An aerial shot of a forest fire conveys the scope much more accurately to most people than a verbal description of 200 acres burned. A graph of the stock market performance conveys more than a verbal description.

3. Would you prefer NO pictures, but just text (or spoken words in the case of TV) as pictures have a strong emotional appeal making it easier to introduce deliberate bias into news reporting?

Especially in television, many of the images chosen add no value to the message. A reporter standing in front of the White House reading some prepared text provides no additional information. In other cases, the immensity of a situation cannot be adequately conveyed verbally. How would one describe the effects of the southeast asia tsunami or hurricane Katrina in the US verbally? I do think TV, especially local news channels, rely too much on emotional images and too little on analysis and evaluation.

In the end, the effectiveness of visual information is in the hands of the producer. They can either be a benefit or a detriment.

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Balance

by onbliss In reply to "One picture is worth ten ...

Essentially I look at pictures to 1)Add some value 2)To break the monotonous text.

I do not like too many photos in newspapers, magazines or websites. In a newspaper, I like just two or three pictures relevant to the item in a page. That's all. Some of the newspapers have a picture of the author of the article. I see no value in them, even if the article is just an opinion.

In my newspaper/magazine if I am reading an item about some science experiment being carried out at Antartica, then a picture about Antartica is always welcomed. I hardly go out there, you know :-)

By value, I mean that somehow the picture should be able to take me to the spot.

So if there was a train accident, one picture should be enough to convey some of the horror. If it is a foreign diginatary visiting, a picture of the welcome ceremony would do good enough, and so forth.

If I need to look at more pictures, I would just look at comics section or comics books.

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