Getting a word in edgeways: the survival of discourse in audiovisual astronomy
Astronomy communicators and educators today enjoy a sophisticated array of audiovisual packages for getting their message across to audiences, but is the ratio of text to illustration always effectively balanced? Images often fail to illustrate the meaning of the text and instead simply adorn it. Images often drive discourse, instead of discourse determining the choice and quantity of illustrations. Astronomy educators involved in selecting audiovisual aids in their teaching, or in the preparation of such products. need to weigh the effectiveness of the media they use. l suggest some criteria for getting the balance right between text and
audiovisual content. I further argue that the text of a discourse must always be firmly in the driver's seat. I look at examples in printed and audiovisual matter where the influence of imagery and flashy graphics has led to presentation being given priority over content.