Each medium has its own group as the target of its communication. In everyday use each medium both has its core readership and incidental consumers. These groups are addressed by an idiosyncratic use of language and image, of visual and textual rhetoric. An editorial board chooses a specific approach and in doing so applies a specific form. That is what editorial design is. Editorial design gives colour and takes positions. Editorial design is politics.
But which position is actually taken and in what sense is this position coloured? At this moment, there are many discussions about what our media landscape is offering. Public broadcasting would no longer disseminate rightist opinion, and every opinion magazine is set aside as leftist by populist commentators. A lack of clarity seems to have emerged concerning the identity of the media and our identification with the media. What is left, what is right, and what is pure reporting? What do we want to engage with?
‘the Form and the Frame’ engages in the construction of media. Onomatopee has assembled editorial boards to investigate the editorial design of specific opinion magazines; to approach their typical usage of text and image. The investigations will include formal aspects such as the relation between image and text, the normative content of the headlines and so on: hard facts. ‘the Form and the Frame’ ignores actual subjects as described in actual news, it does not touch upon actual issues. Through its formal approach it places the normative framework on the agenda.