Remembering 9/11 through news design : journalism, visual rhetoric, and collective memory of national trauma
Mickey Kim Shin
May 8, 2019
Department or Program
Though news media outlets claim or aspire to be objective, photojournalism as reflected in newspaper layouts shapes in a subjective way how consumers see, understand, and remember major news events. My presentation examines front-page layouts of five major newspapers the day after and 10 years after 9/11 in order to understand how narratives are implicitly built into designs that affirm or reinforce specific, often problematic ways of collectively witnessing and remembering trauma. Drawing primarily on concepts of collective memory and visual rhetoric, my project investigates how narratives are represented or non-represented, influencing how the public literally and figuratively sees their role in understanding 9/11 through the passage of time. More generally, I draw conclusions about objectivity in news media, the role of journalism in memory-making, and where the burden rests in collectively remembering traumatic events.