Comics & Literacy

New Media and Multimodality

The increasing focus among educators such as Ballet on the necessity of a more holistic view of visual literacy (i.e. a view that engages with non-textual visual communication) is necessarily tied to the rapid and continuous emergence of new media, a cultural shift Kress (2003) describes as “…the broad move from the now centuries-long dominance of writing to the new dominance of the image… the move from the dominance of the medium of the book to the dominance of the medium of the screen” (p. 1). 

“[New media] make it easy to use a multiplicity of modes, and in  particular the mode of image—still or moving—as  well as other modes, such as music and sound effect for instance” (Kress, 2003, p. 5)

New media hastens an increase in multimodal discourse that is  by definition socially transformative because  it causes “deep changes in the forms and functions of writing” that eventually alter structures of social power (Kress, 2003).