Missing a beat - Story-making and the absent president on September 11

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In attempting to construct a coherent narrative from the shocking events of September 11, 2001, American news anchors, reporters and officials faced the problem of an absence at the ‘center’ - a displacement of the main character whose agency was needed if the story were to unfold as expected. The rhetorical and narrative strategies called upon to fill this gap - to renegotiate the terms of the emerging narrative ‘on the fly’ - offer a rare, real-time glimpse of American cultural ‘story-making’ in operation.

Keywords: President Bush; September 11; cultural analysis; media coverage; narrative analysis; terrorist attacks

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ejac.

Affiliations: Centre for Management Communication, University of Southern California

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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  • The European Journal of American Culture (EJAC) is an academic, refereed journal for scholars, academics and students from many disciplines with a common involvement in the interdisciplinary study of America and American culture, drawing on a variety of approaches and encompassing the whole evolution of the country.
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