Covering Bin Laden

Covering Bin Laden : Global Media and the World's Most Wanted Man

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Starting in 2001, much of the world media used the image of Osama bin Laden as a shorthand for terrorism. Bin Laden himself considered media manipulation on a par with military, political, and ideological tools, and intentionally used interviews, taped speeches, and distributed statements to further al-Qaida's ends.

In Covering Bin Laden, editors Susan Jeffords and Fahed Yahya Al-Sumait collect perspectives from global scholars exploring a startling premise: that media depictions of Bin Laden not only diverge but often contradict each other, depending on the media provider and format, the place in which the depiction is presented, and the viewer's political and cultural background. The contributors analyze the representations of the many Bin Ladens, ranging from Al Jazeera broadcasts to video games. They examine the media's dominant role in shaping our understanding of terrorists and why/how they should be feared, and they engage with the ways the mosaic of Bin Laden images and narratives have influenced policies and actions around the world.

Contributors include Fahed Al-Sumait, Saranaz Barforoush, Aditi Bhatia, Purnima Bose, Ryan Croken, Simon Ferrari, Andrew Hill, Richard Jackson, Susan Jeffords, Joanna Margueritte-Giecewicz, Noha Mellor, Susan Moeller, Brigitte Nacos, Courtney C. Radsch, and Alexander Spencer.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 25.4mm | 598.74g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 025203886X
  • 9780252038860

Review quote

"This is an important book, well suited for graduate studies-media studies or global media. Each chapter is interesting, insightful, and completely written-bringing a diverse wealth of knowledge on a contentious topic that elicits mixed reactions across civilizations."--Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly "An extremely timely and important collection on a theme that has huge contemporary significance, both politically and from a communication/popular culture perspective."--Daya K. Thussu, author of News as Entertainment: The Rise of Global Infotainment "Illustrates the details of the construction of the bridge between various communication fields [and] underscores the relationship among political players, the news media, and popular cultures. These connections are often talked about, but seldom with the sophistication found in this volume. . . . A thoughtful and valuable book."--Philip Seib, author of Real-Time Diplomacy: Politics and Power in the Social Media Era "This book is concerned with the presentation and interpretation of bin Laden, which is crucial. The assessments of some contributors may surprise younger readers, but those who are older will likely enjoy the details. Recommended."--Choice
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About Susan Jeffords

Susan Jeffords is a professor of women's studies and English at the University of Washington and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Washington Bothell. Her books include Hard Bodies: Hollywood Masculinity in the Reagan Era. Fahed Al-Sumait is an assistant professor of communication at the Gulf University for Science and Technology in Kuwait.
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