About to Die: How News Images Move the Public

Oxford University Press
2
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Due to its ability to freeze a moment in time, the photo is a uniquely powerful device for ordering and understanding the world. But when an image depicts complex, ambiguous, or controversial events--terrorist attacks, wars, political assassinations--its ability to influence perception can prove deeply unsettling. Are we really seeing the world "as it is" or is the image a fabrication or projection? How do a photo's content and form shape a viewer's impressions? What do such images contribute to historical memory? About to Die focuses on one emotionally charged category of news photograph--depictions of individuals who are facing imminent death--as a prism for addressing such vital questions. Tracking events as wide-ranging as the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, the Holocaust, the Vietnam War, and 9/11, Barbie Zelizer demonstrates that modes of journalistic depiction and the power of the image are immense cultural forces that are still far from understood. Through a survey of a century of photojournalism, including close analysis of over sixty photos, About to Die provides a framework and vocabulary for understanding the news imagery that so profoundly shapes our view of the world.
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About the author

Barbie Zelizer is the Raymond Williams Chair of Communication and the Director of the Scholars Program in Culture and Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
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Reviews

3.5
2 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Dec 1, 2010
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Pages
432
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ISBN
9780199779987
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Journalism
Photography / Criticism
Social Science / Media Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Barbie Zelizer
Praise for the first edition:

This collection of essays comes mainly from academics but nobody should bridle at theorists lecturing practitioners. They properly challenge the way September 11th was reported - in a way that's both an endorsement of the role of the media and a wake-up call on its failures . . . anyone interested in our trade should read it.' - Roger Mosey, Ariel

'A thoughtful and engaging examination of the effects of 9/11 on the field of journalism. Its unique aim is to discuss the impact of the attack as a personal trauma and its current and future effects on journalism and the reporting of the news. . . highly recommended.' - Library Journal

Journalism After September 11 examines how the traumatic attacks of that day continue to transform the nature of journalism, particularly in the United States and Britain. Familiar notions of what it means to be a journalist, how best to practice journalism, and what the public can reasonably expect of journalists in the name of democracy, were shaken to their foundations.

Ten years on, however, new questions arise regarding the lasting implications of that tragic day and its aftermath.

Bringing together an internationally respected collection of scholars and media commentators, Journalism After September 11 addresses topics such as: journalism and public life at a time of crisis; broadsheet and tabloid newspaper coverage of the attacks; the role of sources in shaping the news; reporting by global news media such as CNN; Western representations of Islam; current affairs broadcasting; news photography and trauma; the emotional well-being of reporters; online journalism; as well as a host of pertinent issues around news, democracy and citizenship.

This second edition includes four new chapters – examining Arabic newspaper reporting of the attacks, the perceptions of television audiences, national magazine coverage of the ensuing crisis, and the media politics of ‘othering’ – as well as revised chapters from the first edition and an updated Introduction by the co-editors. A foreword is provided by Victor Navasky and an afterword by Phillip Knightley.

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