Image Bite Politics: News and the Visual Framing of Elections

Maria Elizabeth Grabe, Erik Page Bucy

Research output: Book/ReportBook

175 Scopus citations

Abstract

Image Bite Politics is the first book to systematically assess the visual presentation of presidential candidates in network news coverage of elections and to connect these visual images with shifts in public opinion. Presenting the results of a comprehensive visual analysis of general election news from 1992-2004, encompassing four presidential campaigns, the authors highlight the remarkably potent influence of television images when it comes to evaluating leaders. The book draws from a variety of disciplines, including political science, behavioral biology, cognitive neuroscience, and media studies in order to investigate the visual framing of elections in an interdisciplinary fashion. Moreover, the book presents findings that are counterintuitive and which challenge widely held assumptions; yet are supported by systematic data. For example, Republicans receive consistently more favorable visual treatment than Democrats, countering the conventional wisdom of a "liberal media bias"; and image bites are more prevalent, and in some elections more potent, in shaping voter opinions of candidates than sound bites. Finally, the authors provide a foundation for promoting visual literacy among news audiences and bring the importance of visual analysis to the forefront of research.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages332
ISBN (Electronic)9780199893478
ISBN (Print)9780195372076
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010

Keywords

  • Coverage of elections
  • Evaluating leaders
  • General election news
  • Network news
  • Political science
  • Presidential campaigns
  • Presidential candidates
  • Public opinion
  • Television images
  • Visual images

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