Photo: Vincent van der Pas
  • Photojournalism
  • News Values
  • Text-image relations
  • Visual story-telling
  • Citizen Witnessing
  • Multimodality
  • Media discourse and journalism
  • Systemic Functional Linguistics (genre and discourse analysis)
  • Ecolinguistics (language and the environment)
  • Sports Reporting

Ongoing Collaborative Research Projects

Online News Galleries

This project is a collaboration with John S. Knox (Macquarie University), looking at the distribution of news galleries in online news websites and investigating image-text relations and their visual storytelling techniques. We have a number of publications dealing with various aspects of online news galleries published with academic journals such as Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism, Social Semiotics, Digital Journalism and Visual Communication. Chapter 7 of my Photojournalism book also investigates cohesion and text-image relations in online news galleries. Full publication details can be found here.

Discursive News Values Analysis (DNVA)

This is a collaborative project with Monika Bednarek investigating how words and images construe news values. Some of this work has been written up in Bednarek & Caple (2012), News Discourse, and in Caple (2013) Photojournalism: A Social Semiotic Approach. A book length treatment of DNVA, The Discourse of News Values, has been published with OUP (2017). For more information, visit the DNVA website.

More recently we have teamed up with Changpeng Huan, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, to carry out a cross-cultural DNVA project investigating the construction of newsworthiness in reporting about the National Day of China and Australia: Guoqing, 国庆 and Australia Day, respectively. Publications resulting from this collaboration will be announced in due course.


ARC DECRA Fellowship 2016-2019

TITLE: Citizen photo-journalism: how is it shaping the news?

PROJECT ID: DE160100120

Since June 2016 I have been engaged in a 3-year Australian Research Council DECRA (Discovery Early Career Researcher Award) investigating contemporary practices in photojournalism in the Australian news media in the wake of massive layoffs among press photographers.

Here is an extract from my research application that summarises the project aims and contribution:

In a media landscape that is more visual than ever, the critical question is whether the news media still has the capacity to bear effective witness. Using a unique combination of ethnographic and social semiotic approaches, this mixed-method study will assess the extent to which contemporary photo-journalistic practices enable high-quality visual storytelling. It will make a major contribution to the study of photojournalism and fill a significant research gap in understanding the nature and impact of significant institutional changes in the Australian news media.

You can find out more about this project here.


Research Awards

2010 Gold medal for Best Use of Communication Measurement: Public Sector

Awarded for the 2010 report: Towards a Level Playing Field: Sport and Gender in Australian Media. A Report for The Australian Sports Commission. Canberra: Australian Sports Commission, from the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC).

(Based in the UK, AMEC is the global trade body and professional institute for agencies and practitioners who provide media evaluation and communication research. The award recognizes best practice in measurement of communication from print, broadcast and/or digital media either for a campaign or for ongoing activities.)


Completed Research Projects

1. ABC/USYD ARC Linkage Project

“New media, new narratives: Beyond broadcasting”

During 2008-2010, I worked with Associate Professor Anne Dunn (University of Sydney) on a joint ARC Linkage project between the University of Sydney and the ABC. The project investigated the training of journalists at the ABC in relation to multi-platform news reporting. One of the specific aims of the project was to design and implement a visual storytelling training module which was taken up by the ABC in the training of all entry level journalists.


2. Australian Sports Commission/Journalism and Media Research Centre (University of New South Wales) Research Project

“Evaluation of the Portrayal of Female Athletes and Women in Sport by the Media”

This project investigated the representation of sportswomen in the media through content and semiotic analysis of the verbal and visual texts in both print based and broadcast news reporting. This research was awarded a Gold Medal for research methodology (see ‘Research Awards’ above).


3. Australian Communications and Media Authority/Journalism and Media Research Centre (University of New South Wales) Research Consultancy

“Literature review of research on commercial influence in news and current affairs programs on commercial radio”