98801 - Laboratory of Digital Culture and Visual Journalism (LM)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Information, Cultures and Media Organisation (cod. 5698)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students are supposed to know the central theoretical issues and relevant research methods on digital culture and visual journalism. Moreover, they are familiar with a number of empirical research projects carried out in the last two decades in various countries on digital photojournalism, citizen photojournalism, data visualization, and visual social media.

Course contents

The course is articulated into two sections. At the end of both the first and the second section, students (individually or in team) are invited to present their own review of the literature and analysis of a case study to be preliminary discussed with the professor.

The first section focuses on the theoretical state of the art. It defines core concepts from the social research on the digital innovation of the practices of production, circulation, and consumption of visual information. The aim is building a conceptual and methodological tool-kit.

The second section focuses on the results of various empirical research projects carried out over the last two decades. Their research objects deal with the role of smartphones and social media in the rearticulation of visual communicative practices (from citizen journalism to selfies), the visual dimension of the fake news and the debate of the post-production of news photography, the new conceptions of value and quality in visual journalism, the social and algorithmic mechanisms of selection and promotion of visual contents within the contemporary ecosystem of digital platforms, the recent challenges of generative AI for the field of visual communication and journalism.


One suggested book and a list of papers (available online in the course's online space on "virtuale.unibo.it"). The list of paper deals with a variety of subfields: digital visual culture and journalism; digital visual culture and political/religious power; digital visual culture and icons; digital-visual methods.

The work to be done during the lab will be based on a selected number of texts. Further information will be offered during the first class meeting.


  • Gunthert, A. (2015) L’immagine condivisa. La fotografia digitale, trad. it. Roma, Contrasto, 2016.

Teaching methods

Lectures and team-work in classroom.

Assessment methods

At the of the course students will get a pass certificate only if they will have attended at least two thirds of the meetings, and delivered the two (mid-course and final) presentations (individually or in team) in class.

Teaching tools

Slides, images, videos, documentaries, videointerviews, data visualization platforms.

Office hours

See the website of Marco Solaroli


Quality education Responsible consumption and production

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.