A behind-the-scenes look at the struggles between visual journalists and officials over what the public sees--and therefore much of what the public knows--of the criminal justice system.
In the contexts of crime, social justice, and the law, nothing in visual media is as it seems. In today's mediated social world, visual communication has shifted to a democratic sphere that has significantly changed the way we understand and use images as evidence. In Seeing Justice, Mary Angela Bock examines the way criminal justice in the US is presented in visual media by focusing on the grounded practices of visual journalists in relationship with law enforcement. Drawing upon extended interviews, participant observation, contemporary court cases, and critical discourse analysis, Bock provides a detailed examination of the way digitization is altering the relationships between media, consumers, and the criminal justice system. From tabloid coverage of the last public hanging in the US to Karen-shaming videos, from mug shots to perp walks, she focuses on the practical struggles between journalists, police, and court officials to control the way images influence their resulting narratives. Revealing the way powerful interests shape what the public sees, Seeing Justice offers a model for understanding how images are used in news narrative.