Ashley Wagner & Olympic judges: She ain’t happy, and the world knows it

Converged communicators in DIG3286 (Assembling Digital Media) will remember the recent discussion of how images are used in today’s Internet memes. These aren’t just spread through social media, though. When they’re connected with a major media entity – and the NBC/Comcast/Universal empire is about as big as it gets – memes can also become a part of the mainstream discussion through established news sources.

Take a look at this link (http://www.today.com/tech/move-over-mckayla-maroney-ashley-wagners-angry-face-ignites-sochis-2D12080164), an article written by Matt Murray for NBC’s Today. NBC, as we know, is the official U.S. broadcaster of the Olympics. Here, the network shows the initial image as American figure skater Ashley Wagner reacts with shock/disgust/loathing as undesirable scores come in from the judges. Below, NBC shows a few of the ways that this image has been used online in the hours and days since then. Even in a sport played on ice, a picture can spread like wildfire.

It’s something to think about throughout the course, as we discuss the ways that images and visual language can be used – and how they can make a rapid impression.

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