Photo Essay

Topic and focus

“Should Graffiti Be Considered Art?” -I have chosen this as the title for my photo essay as I want my images to depict a contrasting view of graffiti being unsightly and a form of vandalism, and it being considered as a way of creating statement art.

The things I will demonstrate with the images that I take will be shutter speed, aperture, compositions, and depth of field.

I shall travel around Hull and the surrounding towns and villages in search of graffiti which ranges from small insignificant doodles, to statement street art pieces. I will analyse the images I take with captions on the pictures; the captions can cover what the image involves, and messages that the graffiti is trying to convey in the photographs.

Shots- daylight and street light during the night. I will use both daylight and street light in my images as I think these lighting techniques will contrast like the subject matter.

Angles- rule of thirds will be used, may include leading lines in the photographs if I can pick up any in the area of the subjects.

I do not expect to find exceptional displays of “street art,” but I shall take pictures of graffiti that range in quality, and graffiti that ranges in meaning/messages that will come across in the images that I shall take.

I shall do a short semiotic analysis on each of the images that I produce this ties in to the subject of my Critical and Theoretical Studies classes which is the study of signs and symbols which I hope to find in some of my subjects in this photo essay.


Banksy- known for his satirical street art and his hate over the government labelling his street artwork as “vandalism.” His pieces of work have been displayed on walls, bridges and streets all over the world.

I find meaningful graffiti to be a form of art, it is a way of people expressing their emotions for everyone to see, which correlates to Banksy’s out-there art he has created in the last 20 years of being a street artist.

Of course, I cannot expect to find such creative work in the local area as Banksy has done, but hopefully the graffiti/street art I come across whilst putting together this photo essay will help me portray the demonstrations of the camera techniques and aid me to create an interesting photo essay as a result of this.


Banksy. (2012). Banksy. Available: Last accessed 18th Nov 2012.

CATS- Lesson 5

Media Law

The ‘free press’ was established towards the end of the 19th century.

In England, the press overcame the opposition from monarchs, opposition from parliament, and opposition from the courts, and cases brought to court.

The invention of the printing press was viewed by the authority as this was a creation of a device that would be used to uphold the authoritative position.

The press was then expected to be used to print neutral material that would not question the establishment. It was the King’s prerogative to decide who would operate and own a printing press.

Censorship and press licensing was set up after the arrival of Gutenberg’s printing press, which existed from mid-1500’s. This was so that the increasing number of books, broadsides and pamphlets could be controlled.

Controls were: the licensing of books and papers, the restrictions on presses and printers, submission of papers to censor prior to publication, freedom to speak limited to the King’s circle- limited right in parliament, harsh penalties for illegal or offending publications- which included seizure and smashing of presses, revoking license; financial penalty, jail for seditious or criminal libel, and physical attacks on the editors.

The 17th century level of authorisation was undermined by liberal ideas- English author John Milton had an argument for the end of licensing, which was called the Aeropagitica pamphlet  It was an illegal tract against censorship and was for the freedom of the press, in 1644.

In 1689 the English Bill of Rights was more a restrained monarchy after the overthrowing of King James II, when parliament asserted its rights over the monarchy.

1694 saw the end of the press licensing law in England.

By early 1700’s there was a much freer public sphere in England, which was serviced by the new unlicensed press. The press claimed to represent the public. Reporting about the parliament was granted in 1771, this then stimulated the growth of reporting and public scrutiny. The government repressed he radical press in the late 1700’s.

Libel laws began to be questioned and reformed.

The modern free press emerged in the 19th century across Europe, North America and elsewhere as part of the growth of liberalism and democratic reform. The idea of a liberal press was spread across the English empire as more and more press laws gradually weakened or were eliminated. Liberal papers pressed for a free economy and marketplace of ideas.

Taxes on papers to control the spread of “mass” or popular papers was removed by the mid 1800’s.

In the 20th century, free speech and free press rights were included in international treaties and international law.

The press is bound by statutes that have a bearing on media-related issues- everything from the Contempt of Court Act (1981), Human Rights Act (1998), and the Freedom of Information Act (2000), to laws that cover defamation, copyright, and the rehabilitation of offenders.

From the Media Law presentation, we covered the path of restriction on the free press in Great Britain, and how laws on what can be written in journalism can stop the business from publishing items that can create an uproar from a certain political, religious, age group. These restrictions aren’t always abided by, and the proposed Leveson regulatory body to the British press about monitoring the content and censoring the media more.

Comparing My Story to the Daily Mail’s

I think mainly my story followed the same order as the Daily Mail’s. The information that I chose to put up towards the top of my article was the same as the information the Daily Mail chose to start the story with.

The Daily Mail obviously went to greater lengths to get a more detailed article that included more in depth information and more quotes from the subject.

The angle of my story compared to the professional one was very similar as it was most importantly about a man’s struggle to get the surgery he wants so he no longer has to live in purgatory.

After more practice I think that I would be able to organise the story better and notice the relevant information more easily so that the structure of my articles can improve.

Ordering Information for My Articles

For the Ed Sheeran article, I ordered the information into paragraphs that I thought went down in relevance and importance following who I thought the article would be aimed at.

It starts with how Hull welcomed Ed for the first time, and how it’s been a while since Hull has had such a big name performing in the city. Then I went on to say that it was a sold out crowd.

After I got a quote from one of the gig-goers who raved about how good Sheeran was during his music set.

The less important information about the songs he performs during his gig, for example his biggest hits ‘Lego House’ and ‘The A Team’.

His birthplace and where he was brought up went next, then information about the success of his debut album being certified four times platinum.

Lastly, I included the, less relevant to the English audience, information about his tour with Taylor Swift next year in the US following their duet release going straight to number 1.

Desperate Wife of Missing Man Pleads for Information

Amanda Whyte, wife of Sam Whyte, and his two children, Emily, 4, and Samantha, 2, are devastated at his disappearance, “These four days have been the longest of my life.”

Mrs. Whyte has urged people to get in touch with the police if they witnessed anything suspicious on the night he went missing.

Eighty police are believed to be on patrol searching for him, with over 30 of them searching the River Kelvin for a body.

His wife last saw Mr. Whyte before leaving their home on Fortrose Street. “Sam wouldn’t just disappear like this,” says Mrs. Whyte, “He doesn’t go out that often.” Upon leaving the house he told his wife he loved her very much.

Sam Whyte, 28, disappeared following a night at the pub with his best friend, Harry Brown. Mr. Whyte was last seen walking along Preston Lane towards the River Kelvin on CCTV.

Mr. Whyte, an Engineer, took a detour after drinking at The Copy Cat on Great Western Road in Glasgow on Thursday, June 20th 2012. He was reported missing at 6am the next morning by his wife, Amanda Whyte.

Normally, Mr. Whyte would travel the 30 minutes home by walking down Western Lane, but the night of June 20th he went down Great Western Road instead.

Police have said Mr. Whyte told Mr. Brown he was heading home before leaving the pub that evening.

Mr. Whyte was said to be drinking prior to leaving just after 11pm, but was not inebriated. The family has apparently been having financial difficulties lately.

Mr. Whyte was carrying his wallet with identification, with pictures of his family inside. He was wearing a blue checked shirt, jeans, and brown Vans trainer shoes on the evening of his vanishing.

Mr. Whyte was also wearing his distinctive wedding ring which is in a Celtic design with his and his wife’s initials engraved on the outside of the band.

The investigation into Mr. Whyte’s disappearance is ongoing and the police have called for any witnesses to come forward with information.

A picture of Mr. Whyte is available through the police press office.

CATS- Lesson 4

Media Censorship

Democratic withhold a principle of “freedom of speech” which they take pride in.

In some parts of the world the government controls the media. This stops anything considered “harmful,” “immoral,” or anything that could threaten the country’s “stability,” from being published and/or broadcast. Even when freedom of speech exists, media is constrained by those who provide the money which enables programmes and publications to exist.

A news organisation’s content reflects the ethos and ideology of its owners.

Advertisers do influence the content- the advertisers will cancel their accounts if they consider the content to undermine the messages about the products they are selling.

While press and broadcasting is considered “free” in the UK, there are external constrains in place on the media. There are regulations that they have to abide by, like the OFCOM Communications Act 2003, and the BBC’s Royal Charter obligations.

The Home Office in the United Kingdom has complete control over all of the broadcasting content, without referring to Parliament.

There are other legislation in place, including the Official Secrets Act, the Prevention of Terrorism Act, Contempt of Court Act, Police and Criminal Evidence Act, and others that relate to libel, race relations, obscenity, sedition, and incitement to disaffection and treason. Direct government censorship still does occur.

The presentation on Media Censorship was useful as I found out that the media is primarily controlled by the Home Office, and not Parliament. Media Censorship is a law on the press in Britain which restricts the publication of anything that can be taken in a way that offends someone, is immoral, or is considered harmful to the country’s stability, which is explained above. This presentation was really enlightening as it informed me in great detail how the business is controlled and how items are chosen and decided if they are suitable enough for the public to see and/or read.

CATS- Lesson 3


Refers to idea and beliefs, significantly, systems of belief.

A coherent and recognisable set of beliefs.

The ideas concerned must be shared by a significant number of people.

The ideas must form some kind of coherent system.

The ideas must connect in some way to use power in society.

Ideology carries a negative or neutral meaning. Jorge Larrain (The Concept of Ideology).

The neutral meaning of ideology is associated with the “world view” of a particular social class and, therefore, typifies consciousness.

The negative meaning is associated with the observations regarding “false consciousness.” Karl Marx (1818-1883).

The false consciousness theory is extended theories surrounding the media- who are accused of being complicit in spreading messages on behalf of oppressors spreading this “false belief.”

Many theorists accept that human behaviour is determined wholly by class interests or class position. There are actually a host of factors beyond class that determine the way we see ourselves and the world, including gender, graphic location, ethnicity, age, income, religion, and so on.

There are four idols according to Francis Bacon, which are- Idols of the Tribe, Idols of the Cave, Idols of the Marketplace, and finally Idols of the Theatre.

They are shared understandings of what is “real” and what is not, and refers back to a common understanding of what things are. There is a process of re-presentation which means we are constantly representing points that others have previously made.

Ideology through discourse- an utterance of greater size than the sentence; the utterance of language generally; the utterance of a specialised form of language; as the spoken expression of ideologies, when it is used to achieve a form of power rather than get “the truth.”


According to O’Keefe, (Persuasion: Theory and Research) is “a successful intentional effort at influencing another’s mental state through communication in a circumstance in which the persuadee has some measure of freedom.”

Human beings have three personal attributes that can be influenced, these are: beliefs, values and attitudes.

Beliefs- an internal feeling that something is true, even though that belief may be unproven or irrational.

Values- a measure of the worth or importance a person attaches to something; our values are often reflected in the way we live our lives.

Attitudes- the way a person expresses or applies their beliefs and values, expressed through words and behaviour.


Jowlett and O’Donnell, (Propaganda and Persuasion) says propaganda differs from persuasion, “Propaganda is a form of communication that is different from persuasion because it attempts to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist. Persuasion is interactive and attempts to satisfy the needs of both the persuader and the persuadee.”

Propaganda is- “…the deliberate and systematic attempt to shape the perceptions, manipulate the cognitions, and direct the behaviour of the audience…” (Jowlett and O’Donnell)

The Ideology and Propaganda presentations covered the beliefs of the society and how propaganda can manipulate the audience with the intent to garner a response from them, like a persuader instead of an advertiser. Ideology brought light to the difference between personal views and those inflicted upon by the people around you and society’s views on a topic/situation; this can link into your views on LGBT people, racial equality, religious beliefs, personal and family values, and attitudes. 

CATS- Lesson 2


The study of signs and symbols in various fields, especially language- OED.


The art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing- OED.

Language designed to persuade or impress- OED.

Signs- the icon, the index, and the symbol. Icon- a sign that resembles or imitates its object, like metaphors, onomatopoeia. Index- a sign that is physically connected to its object, for example pulse, smoke, footprints, rain, signposts. Symbol- a sign whose relationship to its object is arbitrary; alphabet, traffic lights, numbers, punctuation.

The sign- something which is perceived, but which stands for something else.

The concept- the thoughts or images that are brought to mind by the perception of the sign.

The object- the “something else” in the world to which the sign refers.

Individual media organisations have a set of signs that establish the relationship between the organisation and their audiences.

Sender (in) – Message – Receiver (out) – Feedback – Sender. – The eternal loop of meanings that need decoding in semiology.

Semiology was founded by American Philosopher, Charles S. Pierce. (1839-1914)

And, separately, Ferdinand de Saussure. (1857-1913)

The Semiotics presentation was really informative as I found out that it was the study of signs and symbols and these signs are everywhere, constantly subliminally advertising a certain product/service. The audience then associate that symbol with it from then on. Semiotics is a powerful and effective tool in the media business.

CATS- Lesson 1

History of Journalism

Journalism is the business or practice of writing and producing newspapers.

Referenced as “the press” since the late 18th century, and known as “the forth estate” in the United States.


1041, Moveable type was invented.

1436, to 1450, German Johannes Gutenberg, metal moveable printing press invented, spreads across Europe.

1476, William Caxton in Westminster Modern Factory- produced moveable type, available in the late 19th century.

Early 16th century, First newspapers in Britain.

1702, launch of the first daily newspaper.

1709, Barrow’s Worcester Journal, considered the oldest surviving English newspaper. and the first copyright act went into effect.

1718, Leeds Mercury first appears.

1785, The Daily Universal launched (then became The Times and The Sunday Times).

1791, The Observer is first published.

1835, Libel Act is put into place, which is the first defamation law in Britain in the 13 century.

1855, Daily Telegraph started.

1868, Press Association set up as a national news agency.

1903, First tabloid style newspaper, The Daily Mirror, launches.

1907, National Union of Journalists founded.

1910, News reel launched.

1916, The British Government decide they need an official newsreel.

1920’s, Cinema popularity increases.

1920, Radio broadcasting in the UK.

1922, BBC formed – Government grant license to operate.

1923, John Reith is appointed managing director of the BBC. Declares it should be the best.

1925, Government recommend BBC should be replaced with a pubic authority.

Late 1920’s, BBC still not allowed to transmit news until after 7pm.

1929, First British newsreel launched.

1932, BBC acquires a newsman to present.

1936, No BBC produced TV news- TV ended after 9pm news.

1939, to 1945, BBC news bulletin fundamental to morale.

1955, ITV launches.

1959, The Guardian starts.

1964, The Sun launches.

1967, Newspapers use digital production (computers) for the first time.

1969, News International acquire The Sun and News of the World.

1971, Use of cost effective offset printing presses, they become common.

1986, News International move titles to a new plant in Wapping. Today, the first colour national daily launched.

1980, CNN launches.

1982, C4 launches, 55mins long news program.

1989, Sky News launches. WWW starts- Tim Berners-Lee.

1991, First website built goes online.

1994, 5 Live launches.

1995, Talk Radio UK launches.

1997, Channel 5 launches Informal news- Newsreaders perched on desk by ITN.

2000, ITN news radio, TV, online channel launched (closes in 2005). 9pm news scrapped, rescheduled to 10pm.

2004, The Times switches to tabloid size.

2005, The Guardian moves to Berliner format, with an £80 million investment in the printing press.

2006, ITN news for mobile launched.

2010, News International place pay-wall around online content. iPad launches.

The History of Journalism shows the timeline of journalism through from the invention of movable print to the invention of the iPad. This is a useful bit of information as I can use this as a source of information for future work if it requires me to cover significant periods in journalism’s history.

Online Portfolio Flash- Wix

For this part of the module I have created another online blog using Wix website creator, this blog will display all my completed works from all of my classes from Year 1.

I chose Wix out of all of the other options as I found it to be the easiest and the best site to use so that I could design the blog that would represent myself in the appropriate way. I experimented with Webs, Weebly, and Moonfruit, but I found Wix suited my creativeness better than the other websites.