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Building Bridges for Multimodal Research

International Perspectives on Theories and Practices of Multimodal Analysis


Edited By Janina Wildfeuer

While multimodality is one of the most influential semiotic theories for analysing media artefacts, the concepts of this theory are heterogeneous and widespread. The book takes the differences between approaches in Germany and those in international contexts as a starting point, offering new insights into the analysis of multimodal documents. It features contributions by researchers from more than 15 nations and various disciplines, including theoretical reflections on multimodality, thoughts about methodological, empirical, and experimental approaches as well as analyses of various multimodal artefacts.
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Reflecting on a Gap Between Polyphony and Multimodality in Online Media Formats



1 Introduction

In this paper, I analyse the media format of the Google News Aggregator (GNA). The relevance of this format lies in the fact that it represents a text automatically (re-)assembled from the elements circulating in the online news sphere. The GNA samples analysed in the following come from its three national editions (German, UK, and Russian) and deal with the victory of Syriza party in the Greek elections in January 2015. At the end of the paper, the methodological tool and the corresponding theoretical framework for the analysis of this multimodal artefact will be discussed in the context of understanding its (inter-)discursive and narrative dimension.

2 The Google News Aggregator

Based on an advanced algorithm, Google News Aggregator (GNA) creates the multimodal and text-like media format automatically. Not only does it reassemble existing texts or their (ready made) elements published and circulated in different online magazines (in one country/language), it also materialises the core, i.e. the narrative unit of what one could call mainstream discourse. Based on an advanced algorithm, Google News Aggregator (GNA) creates the multimodal and text-like media format automatically. The format itself contains several sections that are related to what Knox (2007) calls newsbites, and broadened with other functional divisions. Since there are always several independent main stories at a time, I will call the section related to only one story the Aggregated Story Unit (ASU). In order to build on a standardised vocabulary...

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