This was authored by Jaycey Deal, Jasmine Parker, Zachary Ware, and yours truly.
The infamous terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 has left a scar in American history. It’s a topic that is emotionally, spiritually, and politically sensitive to many people. One can see this come to fruition in the media’s representation of these events. The news, even to this day, continues to analyze and discuss the events of September 11, 2001. Through photography and the portrayal of events and people, the media paints a picture of what happened on that devastating day that can reflect, hide, or alter the public’s viewpoint.
In regards to the media of 9/11, one pioneer is Richard Drew. With his work and experience, Drew has shown that photography is very important, even in the most difficult of times. Drew is known for his bravery to take photos that others would not want to. He was there when President Kennedy was assassinated. He was also the one to take the photo of the man who decided to jump from the North Tower. Junod did a great job of describing and analyzing the photo. He mentions the stance the falling man takes, the way his clothes are reacting with the wind, how fast he is going, and how calm he appears compared to the others who have chosen to jump. Drew also stated that, In the actual moment history is made, it is usually made in terror and confusion, and so it is up to people like him-paid witnesses- to have the presence of mind to “attend to its manufacture”. In saying this, the author shows that, though it’s most definitely difficult in the moment, documentation of these horrific historical events is very important. Looking back on our history is what keeps it alive; this is how we better the traditions and happiness we have, and how we make it known that we do not want the terrible things that have happened in America. Photography is not only a great way to do this, but it’s also a great way to portray people. The portrayal of people in 9/11 media is important because of how it impacts those who consume it. When media reflects a certain people group in a negative light, that people group is likely to be seen negatively by the general public. In the same vain, when media reflects a certain people group in a positive light, they are likely to be seen positively by the general public. Additionally, media’s impression on public opinion affects the formation of media to come and so on. It’s important to our research that we consider how such media portrays different individuals and their cultures so we can be more aware of how our understandings or misunderstandings of others are accrued and developed and if they should be altered or amended in any ways. A common example is the relationship between non-Muslims and Muslims. Since 9/11, Muslims felt as if they had to become defensive about their identity, while non-Muslims felt strong in their American pride and sympathy for the victims and the victims’ families.
While 9/11 was a horrific, infamous attack on American soil that can be hard to stomach, the media must continue to do its job. They have portrayed people and events of 9/11 through multiple lenses, like photography. It’s important to understand how a critical historical event in recent years is portrayed by the media; in doing this, we can better understand the event, and the many factors that construct the public’s perception.
Alsultany, Evelyn. “Arabs and Muslims in the Media After 9/11: Representational
Strategies for a “Postrace” Era.” American Quarterly, vol. 65, no. 1, 2013, pp.
“Arabs and Muslims in the Media After 9/11: Representational Strategies for a “Postrace” Era” presents Evelyn Alsultany’s findings and opinions concerning the representation of Arabs and Muslims in media following 9/11. Alsultany finds that, though Arab and Muslim characters are often presented as likeable, sympathetic, and well-meaning individuals by the majority of televised productions, such portrayals are often used to merely cover up or excuse other instances of harmful representation of Arabs and Muslims as terrorists. In addition to this, real life hate crimes against Arabs and Muslims had increased. This would be beneficial to our research because it shows that not only can portrayals of information in the media not completely align with how situations actually are in the real world, but also because it give examples of how seemingly positive pieces of media can have negative effects and intentions.
Ewart, Jacqui, and Halim Rane. “Talking about 9/11: The Influence of Media Images on Australian Muslims’ and Non-Muslims’ Recollections of 9/11.” Australian Journal of Communication, vol. 40, no. 1, 2013, pp. 137-151. ProQuest, http://nclive.org/cgi-bin/nclsm?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1446431659?accountid=9935.
In Jacqui Ewart and Halim Rane’s research journal “Talking about 9/11: The Influence of Media Images on Australian Muslims’ and Non-Muslims’ Recollections of 9/11”, researchers record and conduct conversations with Muslim and non-Muslim groups about how the media’s portrayal of 9/11 impacts their identity and views of others. Overall, it seems that 9/11 media serves as something that elicits intense emotional responses from people in all groups and leaves people with various questions and concerns. Many Muslims are left questioning the values and fundamentals of their culture while non-Muslims were recorded as exploring and educating themselves about Islam or developing some sort of distaste for Islam in general. Either way, both groups are forced to consider the differences between Muslims and Australians and what all that means for the society they live in. This journal provides lots of insight into how media depicting 9/11 is able to impact how people view themselves, others, and society as a whole and, even though it is likely that many of the same people were exposed to the same kinds of media, it seems that they all had varying viewpoints, opinions, and contributions to the discussions.
Gregoriou, Christiana, and Pinelopi Troullinou. “SCANNING BODIES, STRIPPING
RIGHTS?” The World Today, vol. 67, no. 8, Aug, 2011, pp. 10-12. ProQuest,
This extract from Christiana Gregoriou and Pinelopi Troullinou’s article “Scanning Bodies: Stripping Rights?” provides information regarding new scanning systems that were implemented into airport security. Because these scanners produce nearly nude images of those randomly selected to get scanned and because of all of the other questionable practices that those working for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) perform, many people are critical of their actions and suspect that their methods are faulty and intentions may be racist. While providing an interesting look at what TSA’s practices have evolved into, this article also provides interesting commentary on the nature of media and how the perpetuation of tragic stories can cause more harm than good, leading people to make bad decisions out of fear or desperation. Because of these interesting viewpoints regarding media reports of tragedies like 9/11 and how 9/11 has impacted TSA, this article would serve as a very apt source for our research.
Junod, Tom. “The Falling Man.” Esquire. Sept. 2003,
www.esquire.com/news-politics/a48031/the-falling-,am-tom-junod, Accessed Sept. 2018.
“The Falling Man” is not only a piece of media that directly covers the circumstances of 9/11, but it also showcases the attitudes of people involved in the event a while after it had occurred. In this article, Tom Junod affixes his attention onto a photograph of a man falling between the World Trade Center. Throughout the article, Tom Junod attempts to identify who the falling man is, speaking on many different topics along the way. What makes this article valuable to our research is how it depicts the ways in which 9/11 media affects him personally and the information he relays about the creation of 9/11 media, considering its origin and ethicality.
KROES, ROB, MILES ORVELL, and ALAN NADEL. “The Ascent of the Falling Man:
Establishing a Picture’s Iconicity.” Journal of American Studies, vol. 45, no. 4, 2011, pp.
- 20. ProQuest,
In Rob Koes’ study “The Ascent of the Falling Man: Establishing a Picture’s Iconicity”, Koes presents a very insightful take on the prevalence of different forms of media and the importance and efficacy of photography. Throughout his study, Koes focuses mostly on the famous image of the falling man, providing historical context for both its conception and explosion of popularity. This study is an important resource for media-related information because it not only discusses the science behind how different forms of media affect their audience but also because it explains how the public becomes exposed and invested in certain pieces of media as well as what types of media they wish to see.
Lasorsa, Dominic. “News Media Perpetuate Few Rumors about 9/11 Crisis.”Newspaper Research Journal, vol. 24, no. 1, 2003, pp. 10-21. ProQuest, http://nclive.org/cgi-bin/nclsm?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/200711539?accountid=9935.
Dominic Lasorsa’s research journal “News Media Perpetuate Few Rumors about 9/11 Crisis” is an important piece of research which takes a look at various news sources’ ability to report truthful stories about 9/11 shortly after the terrorist attacks took place. Not only does this journal give insight into how news media views crises and pseudo-crises, but it also showcases why and how incorrect stories can end up being reported. Often times it appears as though such false news sources are spread because of how desperate the public is to find a source of hope in hard times and, though false, these stories usually originate from overly-exaggerated true stories or mere misunderstandings of situations. Overall, according to this journal, it seems that the majority of media covering 9/11 presents the events with reliable accuracy. Such results were surprising to researchers, because the general consensus of the time was that news sources were inauthentic and fabricated merely for controversy or attention. From this journal, one can conclude that the media’s portrayal of the events of 9/11 were not only mostly accurate and well-researched, but also greatly dependent on the quality and reliability of the sources used to back them up.
Mauro, Aaron. “THE LANGUISHING OF THE FALLING MAN: DON DELILLO AND
JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER’S PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY OF 9/11.” Modern
Fiction Studies, vol. 57, no. 3, 2011, pp. 584-606,1. ProQuest,
“THE LANGUISHING OF THE FALLING MAN: DON DELILLO AND JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER’S PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY OF 9/11” is a study which considers how historical imagery is depicted and described in the books Falling Man by Don Delillo and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. Both books consider 9/11 imagery that has to do with falling and how or if its historical value lives alongside its aesthetic merit. Like other resources, this study touches on questions of whether or not much of the imagery or media produced during 9/11 was ethical and how pictorial media is superbly effective at relaying ideas instantaneously. By taking a look directly at other author’s input regarding 9/11 media and imagery, this study provides lots of clear information and opinions about the general purpose that images serve in media and how the events of 9/11 were depicted.
PETERS, JEREMY W. “Revisiting 9/11.” New York Times, Sep 05, 2011. ProQuest,
In “Remembering 9/11”, Jeremy W. Peters and Brian Stelter discuss various different media publication networks and their approaches to commemorating 9/11’s anniversary without exploiting it. Although many television channels were offered lots of deals for commercials, since the programs broadcasted on this day would receive much more viewership than normal, there were channels that stopped playing ads for either the whole day or during certain programs. This was done out of respect for the tragedy of the event, so the channels focused more so on educating their audiences and memorializing 9/11 than making money for themselves. How the context of 9/11’s anniversary makes a difference in the behavior of media companies is an interesting topic that would provide important information and context to our research about 9/11 media.
Zurawik, David. “TV has Prepared Ground for Anti-Muslim Feeling.” The Baltimore
Sun, Dec 13, 2015. ProQuest,
“TV has Prepared Ground for Anti-Muslim Feeling” focuses primarily on the representation of Arab and Muslim characters in pieces of televised media. While often there are characters that are strong, loyal, and patriotic, there are also still characters depicted as stereotypical, underdeveloped terrorists that still perpetuate a negative view of Arabs and Muslims among audiences. Because of this, something as simple as a Quran or prayer rug has been used as evidence of terrorism to convict Arab or Muslim individuals. Since all of these depictions are portrayed as a byproduct of 9/11 media’s racist misinformation concerning Arabs and Muslims, this article will serve to aid our research.