Media, Death and Memory

My work in the broader area of collective memory and the media is interested in the display of death in the news. I have published a number of journal articles about various aspects of this topic. My monograph Representing Death in the News: Journalism, Media and Mortality was published with Palgrave Macmillan in 2010. The book draws together existing research in this area from a variety of disciplines and aims to evaluate what we know about how death appears in the news. This is important because previously no book has looked at this issue comprehensively and across disciplines.

I have further conducted a large cross-cultural analysis of news images from the 2010 Haiti earthquake, a study which has led to papers published in the International Communication Gazette and European Journal of Communication. I was particularly interested in the various influences that affect photojournalism’s treatment of death in culturally diverse regions, as well as the differences and similarities in tabloid and broadsheet newspapers’ coverage.

I am planning a large cross-cultural study into collective memory and media coverage of natural disasters in culturally diverse media systems. A special focus will be the visual communication of these disasters, and I am interested in the cultural influences on this coverage, i.e. way photojournalists employ collective memory to make sense of modern disasters.

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