Text and Image in News and Advertising


Course Objective

To acquire knowledge of information processing of news and advertising;
To acquire analytic insights in the interaction between texts and
visuals in relevant genres;
To practice methodological skills, specifically in content analysis and
experimental design;
To develop a scientific attitude towards the use of text and image in
news and advertising.

Course Content

Visuals and texts interact in different ways, depending on genre and
domain. Four phenomena in either news or advertising will be studied in
this course:
(1) In advertising, visual metaphors occur often in magazine
advertisements. Text narrows down interpretations of those visuals.
Although advertising messages tend to be quite straightforward, the
interplay between visual metaphors and their messages is a complex
topic. What are the effects on understanding, recall, or purchase
(2) Tv commercials may express visual rhetoric as well. Voice overs may
have different roles towards the visuals shown. They may disambiguate
what is presented, or present selling arguments independently of the
visuals. We will try to find out which effects different interplays of
commercials and voice overs might have.
(3) In news broadcasts, tv reports combine news events footage with
voice overs. Although these voice overs are rarely contradictory to the
visuals, they are often only indirectly related. What are the effects of
voice overs in news reports? We will address these problems also to
online news videos.
(4) In written news, especially online, headings with photographs try to
attract readers’ attention. News photographs can encourage readership by
showing more cruel aspects, or by presenting content that looks strange
with regard to the presented news. The effects of text-photo variation
on information processing will be studied.

Teaching Methods

Lectures and seminars, 4 hrs a week in total.

Method of Assessment

Three assignments (50%) and a written examination (50%). All assignments
and the written examination should be graded with at least 5 out of ten.
Final grade must be 5.5 or higher.


Readings will be announced in Canvas.

Target Audience

MA Communication and Information Studies: Multimodal Communication. The
course is also an elective for CIW: Taal en Communicatie in
Organisaties, CIW: Schrijven en Vertalen, and for exchange students

Recommended background knowledge

Knowledge of statistics is strongly advised. For the assignments
statistics skills are presumed.

General Information

Course Code L_NCMACIW022
Credits 6 EC
Period P2+3
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator dr. L. Lagerwerf
Examiner dr. L. Lagerwerf
Teaching Staff dr. L. Lagerwerf
H.C. Mui MSc

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

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