Performance journalism: The case of media's coverage of war and terror

Tamar Liebes*, Zohar Kampf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We argue that the move from print to broadcast has brought about new modes of reporting. Rather than observe events from the wings, contemporary journalists often perform as active agents on stage, sometimes even playing the role of protagonists in the story. Such new journalistic practices are particularly significant at times of conflict; a moment in which the relationship among media, public, and government is challenged. We demonstrate these modes by two interrelated subgenres of performance journalism: embedded-ness and chasing after terrorists. In contradiction to the common perception according to which ‘embedding’ is patriotic and ‘talking-to-the enemy’ is subservice, we claim that both are indifferent to the traditional dichotomy of patriotism versus professionalism.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)239-249
Number of pages11
JournalCommunication Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009


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