In September 2005, a newspaper in Denmark published 12 cartoons depicting Mohammed, the holy Prophet of Islam. Soon after publication, these pictures became part of various events, political projects and diplomatic action. All over the world, the cartoons – or interpretations of them – were connected to discursive struggles that pre-existed their drawing and publication. The cartoon event thus extended well beyond its immediate dramatic phase of spring 2006, both into the past and the future, and became at least a small landmark case of post-9/11 global media history.
In this book, a community of international media researchers collects some of the lessons learned and questions provoked and offered by media coverage of the Mohammed cartoons in 16 countries, ranging from Denmark, Egypt and Argentina to Pakistan and Canada. The book looks at the coverage of the cartoons and related incidents through a number of conceptual lenses: political spin, free speech theory, communication rights, the role of visuals and images in global communication, Orientalism and its counter-discourses, media’s relations to immigration policy, and issues of integration. Through this approach, the book aims at a nuanced understanding of the cartoon controversy itself as well as at more general insights into the role of the media in contemporary transnational and transcultural relations.
Contrapuntal Readings. Transnational Media Research and the Cartoon Controversy as a Global News Event
Elisabeth Eide, Risto Kunelius, Angela Phillips
A Long and Messy Event
Peter Hervik, Elisabeth Eide, Risto Kunelius
The Twelve Cartoons. A Discursive Inquiry
II. PROFESSIONAL ISSUES
Original Spin and Its Side Effects. Freedom of Speech as Danish News Management
Complexities of an Ideology in Action. Liberalism and the Cartoon Affair
Risto Kunelius, Amin Alhassan
Who Spoke and Who was Heard in the Cartoons Debate?
The Power of Pictures in Journalistic Discourse. As News, as Commentary, as Art
When Foreign News Remains Foreign. Cartoon Controversies in the US and Argentine Press
Stephanie Craft, Silvio Waisbord
III. CROSSING BOUNDARIES
The Loop of Labelling. Orientalism, Occidentalism and the Cartoon Crisis
The Bubble World of Polarization. Failing to Realize the Blind Spots in the Cartoon Controversy
Pictures Travel, Discourses Do Not. Decontextualisation and Fragmentation in Global Media Communication
Integration through Insult?
Carolina Boe, Peter Hervik
Ourselves and Our Others. Minority Protest and National Frames in Press Coverage
Angela Phillips, Hillel Nossek
Between the Ritual and the Rational. From Media Events to Moments of Global Public Spheres?
Risto Kunelius, Hillel Nossek
Afterword. In Quest of Ever Better Heresies
John Durham Peters
Notes on Contributors