Вторник, 27 июляИнститут «Высшая школа журналистики и массовых коммуникаций» СПбГУ

CROSS-MEDIALITY AS DEVELOPMENT FACTOR OF THE MEDIA’S VISUAL LANGUAGE

Problem description. For linguistics, the general tendency of visualization of content is obvious as one of the directions of text formation in the mass media. The visual language allows you to transmit information with various signs, which form a polycode text, authentic to the mentality of modern man [Il’in 1996].

At present, the general trends in the development of journalism have a significant influence on the formation of the media visual language [Duskaeva 2014; Konkov 2016; Russian speech… 2011]. Thus, cross-media has united traditionally distinguished media into a total media environment, which leads to the interdiffusion of the forms of design and presentation of content [Bernatskaya 2000; Gerul’a 2008; Korda 2013]. In producing a media text and presenting it to the audience, all the available tools and formats are used, the diversity of which develops through the use of various style layers and codes previously characteristic of particular mass media only or borrowed from other media — in social media, poster forms, advertising, theater, books and films [Kazak 2010, Chernyshov 2012]. As a result, the range of media linguistics is considerably expanded.

History of the issue. The problem of the interrelation between the verbal and non-verbal signs of the media text traditionally considered by semiotics has been actively studied in the mainstream of linguistics since the end of the 20th century [Bolshiyanova 1987; Plotnikov 1989]. The interpretation of the “non-verbal” signs was determined by the semiotical term of “iconic” [Valgina 2012] and was mainly reduced to images: graphic illustration, photography and infographics. Also, in general, other paralinguistic, alexist, visual signs were mentioned [Voroshilova 2006]. In modern linguistics, the diversity of signs of the visual language has significantly expanded: the spatial location of the publication [Chicherina 2007], the font solution of the text or its fragments [Tupikova, Kameneva 2012] are distinguished. 

At the same time, the media text research in this paradigm is also carried out within the framework of the interdisciplinary approach — the theory of media design developed at the Faculty of Journalism of the Lomonosov Moscow State University. This enables us to consider the visual language as a whole as a non-verbal component of the media text [Volkova 2014: 201].

Methodology of the study. The study of the influence of cross-mediality on the formation of polycode media text was carried out at several levels. The macro level allows us to identify new media formats which predetermines the special nature of the interaction of verbal and visual components. The microlevel makes it possible to trace the development of citation forms as a factor that most influences the aesthetics and stylistics of the media text [Duskaeva, Tsvetova, 2011].

Material analysis. The visualization of media content as a tool for its actualization is largely related to the global cultural context and the development of the iconosphere in the media environment. The post-modern era is characterized by the enhancement of the visual in everyday culture. Even while analyzing the emergence of new types of media, we can see that each next stage exhibits greater visual possibilities: periodicals, television, online media, new media, mobile applications.

First of all, the emergence of a variety of hybrid media formats largely caused right by the cross-media stage of the development of communication is indicative. The formation of media text in them is predetermined not only by the peculiarities of the “progenitors” and the influence of the technologies used. The properties of such a complex sign system do not arise as a result of summing up the characteristics that formed its components. They are transformed creating a new format or type of media.

So there were such formats of media text as media infographics (journalism + design + programming), longread (journalism + multimedia), native advertising (journalism + advertising), video (video + social media), multimedia art projects (art + display area + video + audio) and so on. A new type of media emerges when the magazine and book formats merge into mook (magazine + book).

The new format creates a special media space and is most filled with a special aesthetics — it is created for visual and tactile sensory systems, but its goal is to raise the word to its worthy height, to show its beauty and to return it deserved respect. Similar publications (“Kinfolk”, “Seasons of Life”, “Ermitazh”, “Oh comely”, “Frankie”, “Milk magazine”, “Flow Magazine”, “Cereal”) are designed for a long and thoughtful study — savoring illustrations, white intervals underlined by quality paper, textography creating a special world of verbal text and graphics, unraveling visual metaphors put on the cover or the first page of the site — mook can be an online magazine as well (“Book Magazine”, “Stageproject​.ru”) with individual printed issues (“Veter Magazine”). At first sight, the visual language defines the main content of these unusual magazines and displaces the word, but this is not true: the underlined visualization of the media text makes both its components — verbal and visual — equal in the content formation.

If we analyze the visual language of traditional media, we can conclude about the activation of citation forms as a result of the interaction of codes and sign systems of various media. 

Considering the formation of the media’s visual language diachronically, it should be noted that this process was stirred up in the second half of the 19th century under the influence of new trends in art (the modern style). During the erosion of the opposition “high art — mass art”, various cultural strata coexisted in the same publication format. The visual language of art magazines designed to popularize and demonstrate creative concepts was the major means of content presentation, which makes it possible to regard the entire space of these publications as a polycode text. A new aesthetics was reflected in such magazines as “The Studio”, “La Revue Blanche”, “Jugend”, “Mir Iskusstva”, “Die Form”, “Vesy”, “Zolotoye Runo,” etc. As their founders were artists, they brought into the magazines the principles of visualization approbated in other media — books, art bills and the like.

These trends persisted in the XX century, when the avant-garde movements “taught” words, sentences and paragraphs to sound, move, perform as visual components in a print publication (text graphics). Typography formats strange for the unprepared reader convert the text into a semantic composition, make “picture” from it (magazines «Der Zelweg», “BLAST”, «De Stijl», then «Vesch», “Mecano”, “Bauhaus”, “New Graphic Design”). The main type of iconic signs has changed in the media: a graphic illustration is replaced by photography and photomontage. Again, the visualization principles laid down by such experimental magazines are quickly mastered by publications attempting to update their content with the help of the new aesthetics (“Time”, “Harper’s Bazaar”, “Vouge”, “House and Garden”, “Vanity Fair”).

In addition to the artistic trends and technologies of reproduction a new means of communication, the cinematograph, reflecting the technological nature of the century had a significant impact on the further development of the visual language of the media. Subtitles of silent cinema, the combination of frames in the screen space, the principles of editing predetermined the development of complex verbal blocks, the multi-screening of television. Animation was the basis of the motion design. 

Television in turn influenced the print media, forcing journalists to cede the area to the photographers and illustrators, to look for new formats that could compete with the visibility and speed of television. New principles of visualization led to the active inclusion of infographics in the media text (“USA Today”, “Fortune”). These trends persisted in XXI century, when the media actively mastered Internet and digital technologies, which led to the convergence of media, universalization of the visual language.

Cross-mediality of the visual language reflects its universality, which enables one to study it as a visual component of the media text. Recently, the transfer of formats previously characteristic of certain media, in a new media environment has been especially obvious. Here you can distinguish the followings:

Poster forms of the front pages of periodicals and home pages of online media and new media. 

— Constructive components (visualization of content structure): book half-titles in periodicals and television program logos; headline blocks and rubrication on the TV screen; the module principle of media text organization on news portals determined by the mobile media format.

— Infographics (information + graphics) traditional for periodicals is extensively used in media projects of online media and new media and on television.

— Dramaturgy and stagecraft are transferred from theater and cinema to television (the open studio format, documentary projects) and multimedia projects of online media and new media.

— Principles of navigation through media texts: the indexation of active component, characteristic of online media, in periodicals and news programs on television.

— Chronicle formats of presenting information in offline and online publications are used in infobars on television.

— Artistic techniques (in photography, graphic illustration, color palette and graphic elements, fonts, text style) characteristic of the epoch or an individual event described in an article, long read or a program.

It should be noted that the same cross-media project can be presented in all the formats within the frameworks of a uniform stylistic approach to its visual language as a universal semiotic system. 

Conclusion. Thus, the study of media text visualization processes in diachronic and synchronic paradigms has proved that the cross-mediality of the media is one of the main factors in the development of media text and it directly influences the creation of a visual language, the expansion of its functions from purely aesthetic to cognitive.

© Volkova V. V., 2017