Pojken som förändrade världen
En kvalitativ innehållsanalys av bilderna på Alan Kurdi
Title: Pojken som förändrade världen – en kvalitativ innehållsanalys av bilderna på Alan Kurdi
Authors: Frida Bergstedt, Patricia Higson and Kajsa Kalméus
Subject: Undergraduate research paper in journalism studies, Dept. of journalism, media and communication, (JMG) Gothenburg University
Term: Spring 2016
Supervisor: Orla Vigsø
Purpose: Our main purpose was to understand what makes the photos of Alan Kurdi stand out and to investigate why Swedish newspapers published the photos. We wanted to understand how the photos were presented in Swedish newspapers and how the presentation affected the interpretation of them.
Method: Qualitative text analysis with a semiotic and rhetoric approach
Procedure: We analysed articles with photos of Alan Kurdi that were published in Swedish newspapers between the 3rd and 4th of September 2015.
Using theories about semiotics, rhetorics, newsworthiness and framing we analysed the material. The analysis was done in three steps: first we analysed the photos, then the text and lastly the text and photos combined.
Results: We found that the photos of Alan Kurdi stand out because of many reasons. They contain a lot of pathos and they probably generate similar emotions independent of the viewer’s background or cultural belonging. The framing of the photos in the newspapers strengthens their status and affects the way they are perceived. The framing gives them an iconic status and makes them metonymic. The photos represent something bigger than themselves, in this case the refugee crisis. We also found that the reason why newspapers chose to publish the photos despite the ethical dilemma of doing so might have been because of the public interest. Another reason to publish the photos was that the photos themselves are the news. It is the photos and the reaction to them that is the news in this case, not the event that led to Alan Kurdis death.
Key words: Alan Kurdi, bildjournalistik, nyhetsvärdering, appell, flyktingkris,
ikon, bildanalys, qualitative text analysis, metonymi, pressetik