Christian Pentzold

This article explores a way to reconstruct the verbally and visually constituted frames used in the coverage of the trial of John/Ivan Demjanjuk, a Ukraine-born U.S. citizen accused of holocaust-related war crimes. The study looks at an exemplary case of current multimodal discourse, in which written messages and images from broadcasts and press, as well as the comments and visuals that spread through social media, can be seen to relate to each other in framing public issues. To establish a viable perspective that takes into account both the communicative organisation and the semiotic constitution of such discourses, this analysis combines approaches from frame semantics and social semiotics together with recursive sampling and coding. The article then explains the analytical procedures used to reconstruct the framing of the accused as either a responsible culprit or a victim of circumstances. A preprint version can be found here. For the final version, please visit the journal’s website here