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Covering Bin LadenGlobal Media and the World's Most Wanted Man$
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Susan Jeffords and Fahed Al-Sumait

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038860

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038860.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Images of Our Dead Enemies

Images of Our Dead Enemies

Visual Representations of bin Laden, Hussein, and el-Qaddafi

(p.112) 7 Images of Our Dead Enemies
Covering Bin Laden

Susan Moeller

Joanna Nurmis

Saranaz Barforoush

University of Illinois Press

This chapter provides a comparative analysis of visual representations surrounding the killing of Osama bin Laden. In the minutes and hours after the news of bin Laden's killing broke across social media and then through President Barack Obama's brief May 1 speech to the nation, news outlets across the world scrambled to cover the story of the decade. With no immediately forthcoming photos of bin Laden's corpse, mainstream news outlets were excused from the ethical as well as moral binary decision about whether to show or not show images of bin Laden's corpse. Instead, news outlets the world over had a set of decisions to make about what kind of image to select to accompany the announcement of bin Laden's death. The choice of which visual would lead the news became a complex, even political decision. Some news outlets chose to run archival photos of bin Laden; others used iconic images of al Qaeda's attack on the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. In essence, through their choices, news outlets decided how to visually “frame” the death of Osama bin Laden, the world's most wanted man.

Keywords:   Osama bin Laden, media coverage, news media, death, visual representations

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