Visibility and invisibility in the aged care sector- Visual representation in Australian news from 2018–2021.pdf (4.18 MB)
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Visibility and invisibility in the aged care sector: Visual representation in Australian news from 2018-2021

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journal contribution
posted on 14.05.2022, 02:00 authored by T.J. ThomsonT.J. Thomson, Evonne Miller, Sarah Holland-Batt, Jennifer SeevinckJennifer Seevinck, Sam Regi


The skyrocketing number and severity of issues in Australian aged care led to the establishment of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety in 2018. Yet, compared to other Royal Commissions, media coverage has been relatively muted, and public awareness and engagement with aged care issues has been uneven. Journalists bear a significant responsibility for shaping the national conversation about aged care, and ensuring this demographic is reflected in the news Australians consume. Due to their unique properties, images are especially important in giving visibility to this historically marginalised topic, and to emotionally engaging an often apathetic public. As such, this study focuses on the aged care visuals accompanying Australian news coverage during the period of the Royal Commission’s announcement through to four weeks after the government’s response. Drawing on the lens of symbolic annihilation, it does this through a visual analysis that examines who or what is represented and the role of news values in shaping the selection of images included with news reports over this period.