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Twin Towers in the Media

The September 11, 2001 panic attacks on the Twin Towers in New York and on the Pentagon near Washington D.C.was perhaps the most spectacular intermediate manifestation in the past. This was not only in the United States but also in something, which received global media attention. Attacking the heart of American emblematic supremacy in the Twin Towers buildings in the New York pecuniary district and the icon of American military power the Pentagon, the terror act took over live global media for days on end, becoming a symbolical event in media history. Few people decided that they did not consent to the fact that America stands for liberty, freedom, and rights of men and women of all races, beliefs, and backgrounds. For this reason, in the morning on September 11, 2001, the perpetrators took control over four planes and assailed America in a dreadful way. Two of the airliners were led to crash into the World Trade Center in New York another airplane went down into the Pentagon in Washington D.C and the last plane was destined for another building in Washington D.C. In the fourth plane, passengers managed to stop the hijackers from crashing the plane in a building and landed in a field instead. In this unexplainable terror act thousands of people lost their lives both those on the planes and in the attacked buildings. Analysts of the unforgettable event cite the motive behind these attacks as to weaken link of America, let people feel threatened, and send the erroneous communication about the nation as a whole.

According to the official Government reports and reports from media houses, the accident of the aircrafts into the Twin Towers, together with the intensity of the combustion from the planes’ fuel weakened and brought the two massive structures down. In as much as the theoretical explanation sounds valid, the video and physical evidence released by media houses support this theory. In this study paper, we analyze the Twin Towers 9/11 attack from the media perspective. The collapse of the massive buildings was the catalyst for considerable human suffering and at the same was the focal point of media concentration, the well-liked imagination of disaster, and the American national soul searching. Images from the attacked buildings were widely circulated on all media channels but were also censored on some. In addition, the images of the Twin Towers were a subject of artistic interpretation. In this context, the paper will explore the reception, circulation, and meanings of Twin Towers’ images after the attack. Through the analysis of various primary and secondary sources, the paper will explore the public thought depicted by the media on the issue. Similarly, there was a significant change in society, which occurred after the attacks highlighted by the media with emphasis created through certain admittance, directing the country’s focus on the devastation caused by the terror attack.

The 9/11 attacks arguably introduced a new era in history in which global Terror War exploded and nations legalized political repression and military intervention as a part of a war against terrorism. The attacks left the Americans shaken by the fact that its spaces and citizens were equally vulnerable to the sort of catastrophic terror attacks experienced by people all over the globe. In this respect, there have been several studies of media representations of September 11, 2001 and the consequent obligations of the middling in the hostilities on panic in America. In reporting on the Twin Towers attack, there are only few examples of anti-Americanism, which blamed the attacks on the U.S. policy and arrogance. However, major media agencies and reports showed solidarity and sympathized with Americans, claiming that the attacks were inhuman. According to media reports, the planes crashed between floors 94 and 98 of the North Tower at exactly 8.46am and it collapsed at 10.29am. The same media reported the South Tower being crashed into at 9.03am and collapsed at 9.59am. The crash and collapse times provided by the media were based on seismic statistics from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York. In as much as all media sources seemed similar, some had different notions concerning the attack and collapse of the Twin Towers. Some sources have implied the new tabular design of the Twin Towers as the main cause of their structurally being viable. Other media houses indicated that Twin Towers were otherwise vulnerable hence easy attack activities on them. The horrific terror attack on Twin Towers was the key event of September 11, 2001.

In regards to the 9/11 attack, the major question media houses and sources sought to answer was why the Twin Towers collapsed. Being among the iconic buildings in the US, most people did not expect the buildings to give to the pressure and impact of the planes forcing the collapsing. However, years later after the attack, there is no definitive answer to this question. Although these reports by the media show a discrepancy in particulars and in some cases oppose one another, what the US media use in general has similar basis. The Twin Towers collapsed because of the collision of business aircraft and the resulting fire ignited by aircraft fuel. From various primary sources on the 9/11, attack indicates that the official story behind the above assumption has never been discussed and proven. In his book, the 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, David Ray Griffin explores the concept behind the application of the theory. “The events of 9/11 are embedded in the collective unconscious emotive images of the Twin Towers collapsing, of the jet plane collisions. In addition, the media managed to capture people leaping to their deaths, and other unexplainable events on the Twin Towers, which received much airplay in the international media”.

In the breaking news of BBC coverage of the attack, Gwen Bouvier, Media Events of the time opens the discussion by giving a dramatic example of the attack. It is evident that the first moments of the attack got most media houses unaware with most of them struggling to find the right words to describe the attack on Twin Towers. As the pictures of the Twin Towers exploding were first transmitted on national media channels, most media houses were trying to find the right words to fit the attack with some describing it as hijacking and others using terrorism. Another challenge was live media houses trying to explain what was taking place in the live occurrences and its significance under the given circumstances. Most media channels focused on circulating information about more attacks, risks to tourists and American citizens, and intimidations to day after day life from revolutionary assaults. There was obvious hesitation on the reality of the collapsing Twin Towers. In his coverage, Bouvier describes the beginning of BBC coverage on the collapsing of Twin Towers focusing on the commentators’ inability to describe what was occurring, covering that the pictures were from Washington, and saying where exactly. The falling of buildings around the Twin Towers and their eventual collapse were also overpowering, with reporters not able to satisfactorily describe which buildings were declining. The author terms this a reality effect, the moment at which there is an overpowering reality leading to illusion of words, hence dramatization of the significance and horror of the event.

A study by Brigitte Georgi- Findlay and Anne Koenen on reactions to 9/11 in the German Media also focuses on response to 9/11 in relation to the German political situation and its increasingly strained relations with the United States. By the time of the attack on the Twin Towers, 65% of Germans disapproved George Bush’s policies, and there was widespread anger over his decision to abandon the Kyoto Protocol, international criminal court, and negotiations on arms treaties. The authors further imply that Germany had been more internally focused on its personal unification since 1989. The collapse of the Twin Towers led Germans to focus on dangers of international terrorism and their own potential security and military weaknesses. The media in Germany showed the pictures of collapsing buildings, which led to the polls that the US leaders did not respond effectively to the attack. The fact several media channels did not conclude on what may have transpired in the Twin Towers building was evident with the ever-increasing reports on the attack. Some reports indicate that the building had explosive and not the aircrafts impact, which may have facilitated its collapse. The structural construction of the Twin Towers, according to the media was strong enough to overcome any impact from the aircrafts. However, the videos doing rounds in the internet evidently show the buildings collapsing from something more than aircraft crash. In broad-spectrum, the authors bring to a close media rejoinders to 9/11 and the recounting actions themselves distorted the lines between hostilities and terrorism and called for new reasoning on the subject. Different media responded to crash and collapse of the Twin Towers in varied ways, with anecdotal prevailing frames and rejoinders. Yet whereas, the medium may be helpful in informative and educative uses, they will almost certainly not propose new frames and will without doubt have complexity in coming to stipulations with the originality and involvedness of momentous occurrences.

September 11, in Norwegian Media: Images of the Local Threat by Tine Ustad Figenshou and Rune Ottosen gave an examination of a countrywide communal dissemination corporation demonstration of the Twin Towerss attack. New tales and secondary sources were coded by framings in five different categories such as U.S Hatred, U.S Critical, etc. While most media channels were categorized as neutral, the authors indicate that most people did not have a good way of expressing their opinions on the attack. The authors conclude that while the global communication studies should make a spotlight on worldwide inferences of most important events, they should also lay emphasis on local response and concerns. Television’s reporting had apocalyptic proportions playing up the attack and giving reporters who avowed the epochal scenery of the assaults and their mammoth penalty. For instance, the newspaper Delo often represented European ideologies on the Twin Towers attack and had a cacophony of judgments and viewpoints deliberating wide variety of issues from the nature of the attack to suitable responses. A section of Asian media opens with M. Zenaida Sarabia-Panol’s which presents a  psychotherapy of an English-language daily over the period of September 12-20. In the book, the author argues that the analysis of the Twin Towers attack supports the anticipation that a newspaper’s reporting of 9/11 replicates the nature of the opinionated affiliation between the United States and the newspaper’s state. The more optimistic the relations, the more constructive reporting of the Twin Towers attack.

Twin Towers in the media had varied reception from their viewers, readers, and listeners. Depending on the coverage given to the Twin Towers attack, people perceived the information relayed in different ways. Most people were skeptical of the explanations accompanied by the raw pictures of the buildings. Media channels had no specific idea of whether the explosion was because of explosives or the planes impact and jet fuel. The media coverage of the Twin Towers attack further made people skeptical about the construction of the buildings. The engineers had to provide information on the capabilities of the buildings and work out estimations of the destruction caused. The media coverage of the attack varied from country to country. In the Muslim countries, media coverage initially carried official government condolences then after a while shifted to discussion of what caused the attacks on the buildings, criticism of the US’s largely one-sided deed, and calls to reside out of the Afghanistan inconsistency. News coverage and trajectories of journalism in the US since 9/11 is the spotlight of Lisa Finnegan’s No Questions Asked: News Coverage Since 9/11. For instance, various media channels have perceived the analysis of President Bush’s reaction after receiving the news of the attack on the Twin Towers differently. Such instances lead to people having different notions of what really took place on 9/11. Ideological and political conflict between the western and Arab and Muslim world is one of the most momentous phenomena of the contemporary age and the struggle is re-produced, interceded, and disseminated by the media. 

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