Witnessing war: from near and far

Kathryn Tuckwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents research conducted as part of a major research project on media bias in the reporting of war, focusing particularly on the most recent war in Iraq (beginning in March 2003). The notion of bias is approached via the notion of “witnessing” – a term which conflates ideas about the external perception and explanation of events (that is, about seeing event first-hand and telling others what one has seen) with ideas about the internal cognizance of such events (that is, about telling the truth as one understands or knows it, whether or not from first-hand perception of the world – as in religious uses of the term). The paper explores a method of modelling the relative physical and semiotic proximity of various “witnesses” to the “on the ground” events of the war, and then considers the various ways that these witnesses are identified, and their perceptions and opinions represented, in news reporting and commentary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-112
Number of pages18
JournalAustralian Journalism Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • media bias
  • Iraq
  • witnessing


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