TURNING MURDERS INTO PUBLIC EXECUTIONS: ‘Beheading videos’ as alternative media

Joe F. Khalil*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Alternative media are one of the central features animating investigations of sociopolitical movements. This chapter addresses ‘the typical divorce persists unabated between media studies research and theory and research by sociologists, political scientists, and historians’. It is concerned with a specific form of alternative media associated with the rise of extremist violent groups in the Arab world. While videos work in tandem with alternative media forms ranging from the oratory to the symbolic, and including traditional forms to non-traditional, the chapter focuses on videos associated with the execution of hostages in the Middle East. The beheading videos have been transformed from user-generated content to professionally generated content. The beheading videos offer a fundamental break in spreading images and sounds of beheadings across digital and broadcast networks, converting the physical witnessing into an audiovisual experience, and relocating publicness from spatio-physical to the symbolic - a form of ‘mediated publicness’.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Media and Activism
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781315475042
ISBN (Print)9781138202030
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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