Understanding image-text relations and news values for multimodal news analysis Academic Article uri icon


  • The analysis of news dissemination is of utmost importance since the credibility of information and the identification of disinformation and misinformation affect society as a whole. Given the large amounts of news data published daily on the Web, the empirical analysis of news with regard to research questions and the detection of problematic news content on the Web require computational methods that work at scale. Today's online news are typically disseminated in a multimodal form, including various presentation modalities such as text, image, audio, and video. Recent developments in multimodal machine learning now make it possible to capture basic “descriptive” relations between modalities–such as correspondences between words and phrases, on the one hand, and corresponding visual depictions of the verbally expressed information on the other. Although such advances have enabled tremendous progress in tasks like image captioning, text-to-image generation and visual question answering, in domains such as news dissemination, there is a need to go further. In this paper, we introduce a novel framework for the computational analysis of multimodal news. We motivate a set of more complex image-text relations as well as multimodal news values based on real examples of news reports and consider their realization by computational approaches. To this end, we provide (a) an overview of existing literature from semiotics where detailed proposals have been made for taxonomies covering diverse image-text relations generalisable to any domain; (b) an overview of computational work that derives models of image-text relations from data; and (c) an overview of a particular class of news-centric attributes developed in journalism studies called news values. The result is a novel framework for multimodal news analysis that closes existing gaps in previous work while maintaining and combining the strengths of those accounts. We assess and discuss the elements of the framework with real-world examples and use cases, setting out research directions at the intersection of multimodal learning, multimodal analytics and computational social sciences that can benefit from our approach.

publication date

  • 2023


  • 6