Live television's disaster marathon of September 11 and its subversive potential

Menahem Blondheim*, Tamar Liebes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Television's coverage of the tragic events of September 11 can be viewed and understood as a paradigmatic disaster marathon. The salience of the attack's visual images, their exclusivity on the screen for a protracted period, and the invisibility of their perpetrators enhanced the attack's effectiveness. The paper highlights a number of problems that the September 11 disaster marathon poses to the profession of journalism and to society, and points out possible remedies for the future. It ends with a short discussion of the ways in which television's coverage of the event both resembled and differed from the media-event model, and of theoretical aspects of its unique dimensions as a disaster marathon.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)271-276
Number of pages6
JournalPrometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Disaster marathon
  • Disasters
  • Media events
  • September 11
  • Television
  • Terrorism


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