Raymond Williams Chair of Communication, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
Reports of war, terrorism, natural disaster, crime, and assassinations regularly fill journalism's front pages and spaces, making death a frequent topic in the news. However, the pictures of news about death often show us less than what we read or hear, with images of people about to die easily taking the place of those already dead. Why do pictures of people about to die surface in the coverage of events involving death? What do they look like? How are they used? And what does their prevalence suggest about the nature and degree of our readiness to engage with public events of a complicated nature?