Journalism and Eyewitness Images: Digital Media, Participation, and Conflict, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Journalism and Eyewitness Images

Digital Media, Participation, and Conflict, 1st Edition

By Mette Mortensen


182 pages

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Building on the vast research conducted on war and media since the 1970s, scholars are now studying the digital transformation of the production of news. Little scholarly attention has been paid, however, to non-professional, eyewitness visuals, even though this genre holds a still greater bearing on the way conflicts are fought, communicated, and covered by the news media. This volume examines the power of new technologies for creating and disseminating images in relation to conflicts. Mortensen presents a theoretical framework and uses case studies to investigate the impact of non-professional images with regard to essential issues in today’s media landscape: including new media technologies and democratic change, the political mobilization and censorship of images, the ethics of spectatorship, and the shifting role of the mainstream news media in the digital age.


"This concise study examines the conflation of news media and the social phenomenon of individual citizens taking pictures and videos… Mortensen (Univ. of Copenhagen, Denmark) examines more than just the idea that the audience is now a partner in content creation; she provides several detailed examples… In contrast to books that offer broad examinations of journalism in the digital era (…) Mortensen's volume focuses precisely on the phenomenon of eyewitnesses as participants in the news dissemination process. Summing Up: Recommended."

- D. Caristi, Ball State University, USA, in CHOICE

"In Journalism and Eyewitness Images, Mette Mortensen provides an original account of images in conflicts such as wars, armed confrontation, and terrorism. The ability of citizens or participants to produce, distribute, and use images at times of conflict challenges the control and shaping of mediated conflict experiences. Mortensen offers a welcome account of the changing social relations and the ways eyewitness images have altered public access to information and news production."

-Valerie Belair-Gagnon, Yale University, USA

Table of Contents

Introduction: Eyewitness Images and Mediatized Conflict 1. The Eyewitness in the Media 2. Eyewitness Images as a Genre, Genres of Eyewitness Images 3. Mediatized Conflict 4. Counter-Images: Visual Censorship and the Challenges of Digital Media – the Snapshot of US Soldiers (2004) and the Bootleg Tape of Saddam Hussein’s Hanging (2006) 5. The Unintentional News Icon: The Canonization and Political Mobilization of the Footage of Neda Agha Soltan in the Post-Election Revolt Iran (2009) 6. Metacoverage and Mediatized Conflict: WikiLeaks’ Release of ‘Collateral Murder’ (2010) and the Transformation of the Information Flow 7. Citizen Investigation and Eyewitness Images: The Boston Marathon Bombing (2013) Conclusion

About the Author

Mette Mortensen is Associate Professor in the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Journalism

This series is our home for innovative research in journalism. It includes monographs and edited collections that provide insight into a field that faces the challenges of an ever-evolving news and media environment.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Art & Politics
ART / Film & Video
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies