About to Die

February 7th, 2011

This past week, as we've watched events unfold in Egypt, we couldn’t help but be moved by some of he powerful photographic images, some of violence and even death. In fact, iconic images of death, images such as those from Vietnam, 9/11 and Dallas, to name a few, are images that will be with us forever, they are in fact seared into our collective consciousness. Powerful and emotional as these image are, what impact do they have on our rational view of events? Do they enhance or distract? Do they provide facts, or sometimes distract from the real story and context. These questions are tackled by Barbie Zelizer in her book About to Die: How News Images Move the Public. Zelizer is the Chair of Communication and the Director of the Scholars Program in Culture and Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. My conversation with Barbie Zelizer: