Visual Representation of the 2020 Black Lives Matter Protests: Comparing US Mainstream Media Images to Citizens’ Social Media Postings

Gregory Gondwe 1, Sima Bhowmik 2 *
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1 Department of Communication, California State University–San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA, USA
2 Department of Journalism, University of Colorado–Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA
* Corresponding Author
Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 12, Issue 4, Article No: e202238.
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This study set out to examine how the US broadcast media visually presented the 2020 Black Lives Matter. We compared news content collected from mainstream websites to those generated by citizen journalists and posted on Twitter. The purpose was to examine whether the two shared common narratives in their visual representation of the protestors. Through visual rhetoric frames, our findings suggest that citizen journalists’ picture narratives were humanistic and presented women and children as major players in the protests. On the other hand, visual rhetoric in the US media sites were characterized by narratives of violence, male-focused, and lacking racial diversity.


Gondwe, G., & Bhowmik, S. (2022). Visual Representation of the 2020 Black Lives Matter Protests: Comparing US Mainstream Media Images to Citizens’ Social Media Postings. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 12(4), e202238.


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