Characterizing Conflict in Pictures: A Multimodal Analysis of Reports of the Agatu-Fulani Crisis of March/April, 2016


  • Fúnmi O. Olúbọ̀dé-Sàwẹ Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria


News stories, Images, Mood and Factual Mismatch


Newspaper stories are typically not presented solely as text, but are usually accompanied with images. It is also believed that one picture is worth a thousand words (Smiciklas, 2012). News stories therefore lend themselves to a multimodal discourse analysis (MDA), a study of the intersection and interdependence of various modalities of communication within a given context (Royce and Bowcher, 2007). Therefore, as a follow-up to an earlier critical discourse analysis of news representations of the Agatu-Fulani conflict of March/April, 2016 in terms of four parameters: nature of the conflict; the actors; the action and the victims (Olubode-Sawe, 2018), this paper attempts to show how accompanying images contribute to or detract from those characterizations. Only about half of the pictures factually match the stories, and in only a third does the mood match the visual. In some stories, the photos actually subvert the text, telling a slightly different story from that presented in words.



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How to Cite

O. Olúbọ̀dé-Sàwẹ F. . (2020). Characterizing Conflict in Pictures: A Multimodal Analysis of Reports of the Agatu-Fulani Crisis of March/April, 2016. Journal of The Linguistic Association of Nigeria, 23(1), 1–15. Retrieved from