Introduction: New Personae in Media Coverage of Violent Conflicts



Two major events at the outset of the second decade of the 21st century mark the end of an era which, as argued in this book, has changed the ways in which audiences in Western democracies see and understand violent conflicts: the assassination of Osama bin Laden, the most wanted terrorist up to 2010, and the US military withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. During the decade preceding these two events, new figures were introduced to global audiences with a kind of intimacy not known until then. Terrorists became major news sources, if not the new celebs; journalists accompanied ordinary soldiers on their way to the next risky mission; and ordinary people, once superfluous figures in the news, were conferred a new, prominent status. The changes in media coverage of war and terror, and indeed in how wars are fought, foreground new characters who, up to now, were seen as marginal or, rather, illegitimate. In this book we present these new actors, the new perspectives they offer to audiences and the changes in the hierarchies of the meanings of war caused by the representations of this new cast of actors. The following example demonstrates the reversal of perspective that contemporary news media suggest to their audiences.


Medium Coverage Ordinary People Western Democracy Terror Attack Satellite Channel 
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Copyright information

© Zohar Kampf and Tamar Liebes 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hebrew University of JerusalemIsrael

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