Past Event

Running Toward Danger: How the News Media Performed on 9-11…and Beyond

On September 11, 2001, tens of millions of Americans clustered in front of television sets, witnessing the horrifying terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In the anxious weeks and months that followed, viewers and readers relived the attacks and their aftermath again and again on TV and in newspapers and magazines.

How well have the news media covered 9/11, the war against terrorism, and the efforts to strengthen homeland defense? Opinion surveys indicate that favorable public attitudes toward the media increased sharply right after September 11, but subsequently have declined.

At this conference, jointly presented by Brookings and the Freedom Forum’s Newseum, a panel of high-profile journalists and experts on the media will examine these and related issues. The forum coincides with the Newseum’s publication of the book Running Toward Danger, which contains graphic and gripping first-hand accounts of September 11 by reporters and photographers who covered the story.

Among the issues the participants will discuss are:

  • The conflict reporters face between their role as objective journalists and their role as citizens of a nation under attack.
  • Why public attitudes toward the media have declined to low levels again since September 11.
  • The ongoing struggle by journalists to portray the beliefs and actions of terrorists without appearing to make
    moral judgments.

The forum will include comments and questions from attendees. This is the twentieth and final conference in a series presented at Brookings to examine many aspects of media coverage of the post-9/11 world.

This event will be webcast live.

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