TABLE OF CONTENTS

MEDIA

Abigail Solomon-Godeau on the image wars

LIKE A MINIATURE GUILLOTINE, a camera shutter slices an image from the world into which it may or may not be subsequently launched. But if it is launched—printed, transmitted, broadcast, or reproduced—it may function as an event in its own right. This has occurred over the past several months, as issues of representation have themselves become a topic in the mass media—nowhere more evident than in recent cases of censorship, whether self- or officially imposed. On February 1, Janet Jackson’s ornamented nipple was digitally effaced in news broadcasts after its initial exposure during the Super Bowl, its primal scene, so to speak. Thirteen of the photos depicting the killing of four American contractors in Fallujah on March 31, posted on the CNN website, were quickly removed. In certain newspapers and newscasts, footage of this event was digitally altered to obscure its more gruesome elements.

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