A picture in a Condolence Message? To use or Not.


Andrew Wa kisamwa

The advent of NEW-MEDIA (Mass communication via digital technology) has completely altered the traditional thought flows of communication, and the most affected is reported communication.

Traditionally, speechmarks (The inverted comas used in pairs) are the primarily used tools for setting off direct speechs, quotes, phrases or statements!.

Their simple purpose is to simply offer the much needed Attribution -The action of ascribing a work or remark (s) to a particular author, or person which in essence is originality or authenticity.

But have reporters/writers cheated in their attribution of remarks? Yes. Continually. A lot. That’s why we always here “I was misquoted” , ” I didn’t say that, they put words in my mouth”, so on, so forth and so many other claims of falsified attribution from opinion makers or leaders.

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So what have they gone ahead to do to ward off false attributions?Append their signature to their personalised messages to prove originality and/or authenticity.

Communications practitioners and reporters will agree with me that It’s safe for a writer, author or speaker to append their signatures to any of their communiques intended for public consumption.

Now, worth noting is that signatures are traditionally cursive (hand printed on copy), though (arguably in communications circles) it’s not a mandatory requirement!

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That has continually posed a big challenge to reporters and speakers in new media mostly social media like the commonly used Facebook, Twitter and whattsApp platforms.

Thus the question, how else can one prove attribution in new media communication – in the case of typed communiques for social media use – in the absence of the signature of the attributed speaker?

Or else, how can a speaker sign their typed remarks on a communique for social media use(s)?


Here, a person could potentially use a printed (non-cursive) name or even a symbol like a face as a valid signature for the attribution of work.

Thus a reporter can use the image of a speaker/author/writer as a signature in their attribution of content.

Therefore, one can use a picture of the speaker in a condolence message ( a personalised message like any other) and literary, there will be no crime in that!

You can use it in your next condolence message!