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About to die : how news images move the public

Author: Barbie Zelizer
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2010.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
An analysis of about-to-die images in 19th, 20th and 21st century U.S. journalism, with some discussion of news images elsewhere, raises fundamental questions both about how these pictures depict the news, how they figure in collective memory and how they connect with the public at multiple points in time. In so doing, it suggests a refinement of how news images have been thought to function and how the public has
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Barbie Zelizer
ISBN: 9780199752133 0199752133 9780199752140 0199752141
OCLC Number: 606234316
Description: ix, 415 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Journalism, memory, and the voice of the visual --
Why images of impending death makes sense in the news --
Presumed death --
Possible death --
Certain death --
Journalism's mix of presumption, possibility, and certainty --
When the "as if" erases accountability --
How news images move the public.
Responsibility: Barbie Zelizer.

Abstract:

An analysis of about-to-die images in 19th, 20th and 21st century U.S. journalism, with some discussion of news images elsewhere, raises fundamental questions both about how these pictures depict the news, how they figure in collective memory and how they connect with the public at multiple points in time. In so doing, it suggests a refinement of how news images have been thought to function and how the public has been thought to respond.

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. -- ‡c From back cover.

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An enlightening new book. * Slate.com * About to Die is an audacious and often chilling examination of how visual media handle the moment of death, from engravings of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 Read more...

 
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