The management of visibility: Media coverage of kidnapping and captivity cases around the world

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Abstract

This article examines the journalistic practices associated with the management of visibility of kidnapping and captivity stories, based on a comparative study of the media coverage of seven cases of Colombian, French, Israeli, and US citizens who were taken captive in the first decade of the 21st century. Differences in the general level of visibility given to these stories are identified and explained, followed by an analysis of three patterns of high visibility management across time, termed 'sustained visibility', 'delayed visibility' and 'cyclical visibility'. Emerging from the analysis is the complex interplay between hyper-visibility and invisibility in journalistic practices, as well as the notion of "elastic newsworthiness", according to which news criteria are not only shaping patterns of visibility but are also being shaped by them.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)791-808
Number of pages18
JournalMedia, Culture and Society
Volume35
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2013

Keywords

  • journalism
  • narrative
  • news selection
  • visibility

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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