Homullus1 medius: Transforming the logic of reporting at crisis

Tamar Liebes*, Zohar Kampf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The aim of this chapter is to pinpoint a dramatic change in media coverage of war, namely, the takeover of ordinary people, and the impact of this trend on the way we see and understand violent conflicts. Whereas during the last decade the rising visibility of ordinary people on television in various entertainment genres has been gradually acknowledged, their dominance in the representation of politics, and war in particular, has yet to be explored. This phenomenon may be seen in three facets related to the mediation and representation of wars, especially asymmetrical ones: the ordinary person as the producer of images of war; the ordinary person as a central actor in the representation of war; and the media's adoption of the logic of the ordinary person as a means for understanding contemporary wars. The latter transformation is the most revolutionary as it delegitimizes the traditional logic of reporting war, according to which the "good of the society" should prevail (Habermas, 1989). The paper draws on cases from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war between Israel and Hezbollah (2006), and the experiences of the US and UK in Iraq and Afghanistan. We demonstrate each of the three aspects and discuss implications for wars in asymmetric settings.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)86-98
Number of pages13
JournalDynamics of Asymmetric Conflict: Pathways toward Terrorism and Genocide
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Asymmetric conflict
  • Globalization
  • Political violence


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