Media Witnessing: Testimony in the Age of Mass Communication

Overview

Do mass media turban us all into witnesses, and what might this mean? From the Holocaust to 9/11, modern communications systems have incessantly exposed us to reports of far flung and often horrifying events, experienced by people whom we do not know personally, and mediated by a range of changing technologies. What is the truth status of such 'media witnessing', and how does it depend on jourbanalists and media organizations? What are its social, cultural and political ramifications, and what kind of moral ...

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Media Witnessing: Testimony in the Age of Mass Communication

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Overview

Do mass media turban us all into witnesses, and what might this mean? From the Holocaust to 9/11, modern communications systems have incessantly exposed us to reports of far flung and often horrifying events, experienced by people whom we do not know personally, and mediated by a range of changing technologies. What is the truth status of such 'media witnessing', and how does it depend on jourbanalists and media organizations? What are its social, cultural and political ramifications, and what kind of moral demands can it make of audiences to act on behalf of suffering strangers? What are its connections to historical forms of witnessing in other fields: legal, religious and scientific? And how is it tied to technological transformations in media, transformations that bridge distances in space and time and can make ordinary people the sources of extraordinary footage?
 
These are the themes taken up within this unique volume, now available for the first time in paperback with a special preface written by Professor Elihu Katz. The contributors are some of the leading contemporary thinkers in Communication and Media Studies, and together they not only make a crucial intervention in on-going debates about media witnessing and the representation of strangers, but present original conceptualizations of the relationship between knowledge, discourse and technology in the era of mass communications.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Why are witnesses to salient socio-political events so important in our age of global media reporting? Testimonies are sometimes the only chance to arrive at more information which would, otherwise, have been swept under the carpet. This excellent book elaborates on, and challenges, the complex and difficult roles of eye witnesses and of the media in truly innovative interdisciplinary ways. Everybody who deals with media in their everyday lives will be able to gain new insights."—Professor Ruth Wodak, Lancaster University, UK
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230301351
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 6/21/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 1,356,519
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

PAUL FROSH teaches in the Department of Communications and Jourbanalism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. His publications include The Image Factory: Consumer Culture, Photography and the Visual Culture Industry (2003) and Meeting the Enemy in the Living Room: Terrorism and Communication in the Contemporary Era (edited with Tamar Liebes, 2006).

AMIT PINCHEVSKI teaches in the Department of Communications and Jourbanalism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. He is the author of By Way of Interruption: Levinas and the Ethics of Communication (2005).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Notes on Contributors
Preface: No More Excuses; E.Katz
Introduction: Why Media Witnessing? Why Now?
PART I: PERSPECTIVES ON MEDIA WITNESSING
Witnessing: An Afterword; J.D.Peters
Telling Presences; P.Frosh
Mundane Witness; J.Ellis
Witness as a Cultural Form of Communication; G.Thomas
Archaic Witnessing and Contemporary News Media; M.Blondheim&T.Liebes
PART II: PERFORMANCES OF MEDIA WITNESSING
Witnessing as a Field; T.Ashuri &A.Pinchevski
From Danger to Trauma; C.Rentschler
Scientific Witness, Testimony, and Mediation; J.Leach
Witnesses or Bystanders
Witnessing Trauma on Film; R.Brand
Index

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