Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version



Postprint version. Published in The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, Volume 10, Issue 3, 2005, pages 26-55.
Publisher URL:


This article addresses the formulaic dependence of the news media on images of people facing impending death. Considering one example of this depiction — U.S. journalism's photographic coverage of the killing of the Taliban by the Northern Alliance during the war on Afghanistan, the article traces its strategic appearance and recycling across the U.S. news media and shows how the beatings and deaths of the Taliban were depicted in ways that fell short of journalism's proclaimed objective of fully documenting the events of the war. The article argues that in so doing, U.S. journalism failed to raise certain questions about the nature of the alliance between the United States and its allies on Afghanistan's northern front.



Date Posted: 04 March 2008

This document has been peer reviewed.