Visual Representations of Refugees in German Media 2010-2020

Project Format: Bilingual multimedia website

The research project “Visual Representations of Refugees in German Media 2010-2020” examines photographs of refugees shared by three major German newspapers and magazines (Der Spiegel, Frankfurter-Allgemeine Zeitung, and over the past decade presented in the form of a bilingual multimedia website. In the research project, 21 photographs, both the positive and negative visual representations of refugees, across major German news organizations with varying political biases, are analyzed to demonstrate the need for a standard of practice with regards to content creation and photograph selection. Additionally, the project aims to encourage journalists and editors to use of first-person content and storytelling in stories and visuals published in the media, as is made possible by the increased availability of mobile phones or disposable cameras, as well as commissioned and targeted photo assignments completed by ethical photojournalists, in place of stock photographs supplied by news agencies such as the Deutsche Presse Agentur (dpa) (German Press Agency) or the Associated Press (AP).

"For me, this project related to my professional goals of working in a photo department of a news agency and gave me first-hand experience in analyzing the ethical and moral decisions of photo editors in relation to published photographs. Refugees are a highly-discussed topic, but they're also a vulnerable subject to be photographed, and how we portray them in the news needs to be considered more carefully as we continue to see numbers of displaced people rising." - Whittle

Britta Kallin, Richard Utz
Cassidy Whittle
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