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Narrative Manipulation of Images from the Iraq War

Hiles, David (2006) Narrative Manipulation of Images from the Iraq War. In: Narrative, Memory & Knowledge: Representations, Aesthetics, Contexts. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 41-53.

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      Abstract

      My personal feeling is that citizens of the democratic societies should undertake a
      course in intellectual self-defence to protect themselves from manipulation and
      control. (Noam Chomsky, 1989a)
      This paper is offered in the spirit of Noam Chomsky’s plea that everyone
      should undertake a course in Intellectual Self-Defence. Welcome then to
      ISD101. We will begin with the observation that anyone in the UK who
      watched the ‘breaking news’ coverage of the second Gulf war with Iraq, in
      March 2003, could not have helped noticing that they were often watching live
      coverage from a battle zone in Iraq, ie. unfiltered, unedited and uncensored
      images direct from Iraq. On first reflection, this would seem to contradict a key
      feature of Herman and Chomsky’s (1988) well known Propaganda Model -
      that such coverage needed to be heavily filtered and controlled. I will argue
      that in this new era of 24 hour breaking news it is no longer possible to control
      broadcast images, but it would seem that with appropriate media briefings the
      meanings can be ‘fixed’. I therefore propose an expansion of the propaganda
      model, which incorporates Stuart Hall’s notion of fixing the meaning. This is
      supported by an analysis of the narrative manipulation of images from the Iraq
      war over a seven-day period, early in the conflict. This analysis supports my
      claim that it is not the images that we see that matters, but it is what we are told
      that they mean, that really does matter. This has obvious implications for
      understanding the inter-relationship between narrative, memory and
      knowledge.

      Item Type: Book Chapter
      Additional Information: Copyright for chapters remain with individual authors at all times and permission should be sought from the author for any reproduction other than for personal use.
      Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
      Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences > Narrative and Memory Research Group > Narrative and Memory Research Group Annual Conference
      School of Human and Health Sciences
      Related URLs:
      Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
      Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2009 16:09
      Last Modified: 30 Jul 2010 14:10
      URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/4898

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