The meaning of Time magazine's sign representation of visuals of 9/11: a Baudrillardian perspective

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dc.contributor.author Koonin, Marla
dc.date.accessioned 2008-06-19T10:01:39Z
dc.date.available 2008-06-19T10:01:39Z
dc.date.issued 2008-06-19T10:01:39Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/638
dc.description.abstract The fundamental essence covered the central role of representation of meaning within signs of photographic images captured of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States of America, in Time magazine’s September 11, 2001 special edition. This was done in order to determine how sign representation appeared in relation to philosophical sociologist Jean Baudrillard’s concepts of simulacra, simulation, hyperreality and massification. These concepts were assessed in relation to dominant theme categories and sub themes contained in the photographic images of this publication by means of a qualitative thematic content analysis. The motivation for the selection of this event was based on its magnitude and worldwide consequences. Furthermore, the images were selected in the specified mass media medium of Time magazine based on Baudrillard’s inference that consumption within a society is based on the controlling codes of society and one of these codes is the mass media. Hence the mass media have control over the value which a sign will have in a specific society thus giving it meaning, and on its inception AOL/Time Warner was the largest media conglomerate ever formed. Therefore what messages they deem as significant to be disseminated will become a controlling code of what signs have which meaning on a global scale. Moreover, Baudrillard believes that the mass media create a dominant belief system, which creates mass ideas and one of the ways in which massification occurs is through the use of images. As such, visuals play a powerful role in the representation of major world events. Particularly photographs because they are a reflection and thus form part of the registration process of what is being witnessed, where in this case it was the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Hence visual images of world events are displayed globally by the mass media, which in turn propagate their own mediation of events and in this particular case terrorism fuelled the massified information that was dispersed. This information is circulated on a global scale via the mass media based on what will generate the most capital by creating what is consumable. What has occurred in the mass media arena is that ownership structures have changed and today there is a major increase in media conglomerates with media power being in fewer and fewer hands. This leads to information flow that is skewed by a specified ideology, which in the case of Time magazine would be a western ideology. In line with the established motivation as well as the dominance of visual supplements in much of the coverage of September 11, 2001, the overriding research problem was to determine how meaning was represented in the signs, from a Baudrillardian perspective, in the dominant themes in selected visuals in Time magazine’s September 11, 2001 special edition. Based on the research, a key underlying finding revealed the idea that in mass mediated cultures everything is a sign and representation of the real and therefore the real loses meaning and is replaced by a hyperreal and thus image and form devour the real and audiences are seduced by the values of signs. en
dc.description.sponsorship Andrea Crystal en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001 press coverage en
dc.subject Photographic images en
dc.subject Realism in the press en
dc.title The meaning of Time magazine's sign representation of visuals of 9/11: a Baudrillardian perspective en
dc.type Thesis en

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