To page body
university of tampere: faculty of communication sciences: research: comet - tampere research centre for journalism, media and communication: projects: completed projects:
Faculty of Communication SciencesUniversity of Tampere The School of Communication, Media and Theatre COMET
COMET - Tampere Research Centre for Journalism, Media and Communication

Picture of Trust - How readers interpret news photographs?

The purpose of the study is to understand how much and in what ways contemporary readers trust – if they trust – news photographs published both in the traditional and on-line newspapers. This issue is examined particularly with regard to digital photo editing, which has been accused of undermining the credibility of the photographic image and, hence, the trustworthiness of news photographs in their entirety.

The data is collected by using questionnaires and group discussions. The questionnaire includes, for example, questions concerning the informant’s perceptions of the limits of the digital alterations in news photographs. The answers from the questionnaires could be compared with Jenny Mäenpää’s book “Editing and manipulating”, which is a study on professional journalists’ attitudes towards digital editing of news photographs. The data produced by group discussions provides, for its part, the basis for the closer analysis and deeper understanding of the informants’ perceptions and expectations about the truth of news images.

The knowledge about readers’ interpretations could be used, for example, in planning new professional codes for photo editing, adapted to meet new digital editing techniques. The knowledge could also be very useful in advancing professionals’ awareness of audience responses to their work. Additionally, the training of photo journalists is obviously a suitable field for applying the knowledge produced by this study.

Readers’ ability to understand news pictures forms a part of their visual literacy, which is among the basic skills in present-day society. In this research, visual literacy refers to the informants’ ability to understand the meanings and production process of news images in our contemporary culture.

Contact Person: Pentti Raittila

Tel. +358 3 3551 8806, E


University of Tampere, Journalism Research and Development Centre

Partner: Helsingin Sanomat Foundation

Post address: Tampere Research Centre for Journalism, Media and Communication, FI-33014 University of Tampere, Finland
Visiting address: Kalevantie 4, E-Wing,(3 rd floor)
Maintained by:
Last update: 11.10.2011 8.21 Muokkaa

University of Tampere
+358 3 355 111

FINEEC Audited HR Excellence in Research

Cooperation and Services
About Us

Research & Study

Career Services
Finnish Social Science Data Archive
Centre for International Education
IT services
Language Centre
Language Services
Registrar's Office
Sports Activities
» more

Teaching schedules
Curricula guides
Student's Desktop

Andor search
Renew your loans
UTA intranet
Office 365 webmail
Uta webmail
Electronic exam service
Examination results