Monday, 23 May 2016

Launceston Council's And The Press' Visual Messaging

When most people picked up their Examiner last Saturday they got the message or 'a message' but was it the one The Examiner had carefully crafted. Let there be no mistake the image was made very, very carefully by the photographer and later on it was carefully chosen by the editor – that's their job. As designed the front of the paper last Saturday was loaded with layers of visual messaging and heaps of it.

Body language is a powerful communication strategy and something that some of us use unconsciously but others use it very deliberately – especially professional politicians

For instance arms crossed over the chest can indicate that a person is being defensive. It can also demonstrate that the individual with crossed arms disagrees with the opinions or actions of other individuals with whom they are communicating – Reference Link 

It is often worth spending some time quite deliberately unpicking the visual messaging we are presented with – everyone can do it. In fact we get a great deal of our messages in newspapers subliminally. If we are not, then the newspaper is being a 'tad dumb' and the editor should be sacked for dereliction of duty.

However, last Saturday a LCC News and Examiner reader got an unwelcomed message. She has passed on the distress she felt and her mental trauma to LCC News. When she found last Saturday's paper on the breakfast table she "freaked out". It turns out that she had been a participant in a vexatious and somewhat difficult exchange with Launceston Council and its management that traumatised her at the time. This event represents an ongoing trauma for her and seeing this image sparked an episode of anxiety and distress. 

NO its not the obviously intended message but it was nonetheless distressing.

It must be said that this reaction could not have been anticipated by The Examiner or anyone else. Likewise, the Mayors would not have given this sort of thing a moments thought when posing for the shot. Nonetheless, when this kind of 'image making' goes on there is layerings of messaging that its worth our while unpicking – and if you're in front of a camera its worth thing about too.

This particular image in The Examiner for instance carries layer upon layer of subliminal messages – intended and unintended.  Interestingly its an old image but it is drawn to LCC News attention time after time in various contexts – and few in the original one.

Social Media in fact depends almost entirely upon visual messaging. Think about it, people can read a visual message in nano-seconds and it take quite a bit longer to read any text associated with it.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Concerned Citizens Blog editor,

    I think the image, particularly given the Launceston mayor's stance with arms crossed, is confronting. It comes across as arrogant and in terms of body language (non-verbal communication) it places him as being more important than the other mayors. So, other mayors, take note!
    The other mayors and their councils should also take note that it looks like an amalgamation meeting with the Launceston mayor as the head. We all know that the Launceston city general manager would like northern councils to amalgamate and form a single council. Perhaps the mayors should be wary of being so supportive of a university move away from the Newnham campus, as there is every possibility that the Launceston city council might be using it as a stepping stone to council amalgamation by stealth.

    Let's hope that the mayors are also aware that the university does NOT pay rates!
    Presumably mayors and councillors from other municipalities are not rate-payers or residents in Launceston. That begs the question, 'Why are they getting such a say in Launceston public land matters?'

    Angry Launceston ratepayer, Louise McK.