Passing the "breakfast test": Exploring the effects of varying degree of Graphicness of war photography in the new media environment

Christopher J. McKinley, Shahira Fahmy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


In the context of new media to which young audiences are exposed, this study examined whether the level of graphicness depicted in images of conflict influenced viewers' war perceptions. Results showed that higher levels of graphicness in images of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict did not affect beliefs regarding the severity of this issue or attitudes toward US involvement in the conflict. However, findings did suggest that highly graphic visuals led to increased negative mood states. The study also found that level of graphicness moderated the impact of preexisting attitudes toward Middle Easterners on perceived severity of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, suggesting that the graphicness of visuals may play more of a moderating role in explaining war perceptions. Overall, results indicate that journalistic concerns about presenting highly graphic images to viewers might have now become unfounded.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-83
Number of pages14
JournalVisual Communication Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Education

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