Television news and the digital environment: A triadic multimodal approach for analysing moving image media



Jones B (2016) Television news and the digital environment: A triadic multimodal approach for analysing moving image media. African Journalism Studies, 37 (2), pp. 116-137.

Taking into account the image and narrative analysis akin to film studies, as well as discourse as per the long-standing tradition of print analysis, this article suggests a dedicated triadic multimodal methodological approach for television news analysis. The precise methodology for best practice qualitative text analysis is as yet poorly defined (Macnamara 2005, 16), but this article proposes a solution to that very concern. This article engages with the methodological challenges of studying television news, and critically reviews several established methods – semiotics, discourse analysis, and the context of media production – but calls for a more holistic approach that better integrates the multimodal nature of television news. I propose a method which allows a blend of the different tracks of television news, from audio and visual to the political economy of these texts. I do so with a view to providing tools for media and journalism students to carry out a beginner’s analysis, but also for more established research to engage with the requirements of studying television news. I then provide an example of how this triadic method can be operationalised by analysing a television news broadcast in relation to the coverage of violence in the context of the 2014 South African election.

convergence journalism; digital media; media analysis; moving image analysis; multimodal methodology; television news; television studies;

African Journalism Studies: Volume 37, Issue 2

FundersNational Research Foundation
Publication date02/04/2016
Publication date online06/07/2016
Date accepted by journal06/07/2016
PublisherInforma UK Limited

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Dr Bernadine Jones
Dr Bernadine Jones

Lecturer in Journalism, Communications, Media and Culture