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School of Communication Shows Impact of Telling Stories with Images

This semester, the School of Communication launched its Building Bridges Through Communication series which aims to build understanding between fractured and divided groups through the fostering of conversation and debate. 

On Wednesday, the series kicked off with “The Power of Visual Storytelling,” which brought together professors with various specializations and backgrounds to discuss the power of imagery, focusing on the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 

Journalism’s Distinguished Executive-in-Residence Patrick Farrell began the event with a short video collection of his photographs documenting his time in Haiti following a major hurricane in 2009. He discussed the role images play in telling an honest story, and the ethical challenges news publications face in selecting “the right one.”

Assistant Professor Mary Anne Taylor of the Communication Studies Department took an in-depth look at the iconography of images and their ability to communicate messages. Taylor explored the impact of now instantly recognizable photos and the imbued meanings they have taken on.

Communication Sciences and Disorders Chair Joanne Lasker talked about the role images play in helping those with speech disorders overcome some of their communication obstacles. She gave additional insight into the efforts of the Robbins Center through a video documenting a patient’s progress.

Catherine D’Ignazio, assistant professor of Journalism, highlighted her research into climate change, and how data visualization democratizes information by making it more accessible. She shared photos of an artistic demonstration that aimed to provide relatable perspective about sea level rise.



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