The assassination of Osama Bin Laden and the effect it had on the media.

The assassination of Osama Bin Laden and the effect it had on the media.

Osama bin Laden was born of the 10th March 1957 and was probably the most well-known Islam extremist in history, most well known for being the founder of the terrorist group al-Qaeda and being the mastermind behind the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. On May 11th 2011 Osama bin Laden was killed in his home in Pakistan, by US Special Forces, the assault itself was led by the CIA and US president Barack Obama. After the raid, U.S. forces took bin Laden’s body to Afghanistan for identification, then buried it at sea within 24 hours of his death. Al-Qaeda confirmed the death on May 6 with posts made on militant websites, vowing to avenge the killing.

Soon after the assaults on bin Laden’s camp started the media caught wind that there was something going on and stories began to circulate, the official announcement was made by Barack Obama on all major US television networks at 11:35 EST all major television networks worldwide simultaneously broke the news worldwide. Obamas speech began with “Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, and a terrorist who was responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children” without a doubt this is will be seen as a major historical event for many years into the future as for many people the 9/11 attacks were the biggest human caused disaster in recent history and the death of the mastermind behind it is massively important.

Before the official announcement, large crowds spontaneously gathered outside the White House, Ground Zero, The Pentagon and in New York’s Times Square to celebrate. From the beginning to the end of Obama’s speech, 5,000 tweets per second were sent on microblogging platform Twitter.

A 2012 TV film “seal team six: the raid on Osama bin Laden” despite being based on the actual events the facts were neither confirmed or denied by Whitehouse officials and may inaccuracies were spotted in the film involving certain events that didn’t in fact happen. Controversy surrounding this film was not just because of the events it showed but because of the time the film was released, just a few weeks before the US presidential election, many people thought this was done to sway voters to re-elect Obama despite this the film was still aired.

A second more well-known film ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ was released late 2012, Billed as “the story of history’s greatest manhunt for the world’s most dangerous man”, the film dramatizes the decade-long manhunt for Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, leading to the eventual discovery of his compound in Pakistan, and the military raid on that compound that resulted in his death in May 2011. This film received a much better reception as it told the whole story of bin Laden’s ‘reign of terror’, so to speak.

In my opinion these are the first of many films and documentaries that will be made to show the events that shook a generation and how after 10 years they finally came to a close.


4 thoughts on “The assassination of Osama Bin Laden and the effect it had on the media.

  1. A decent summary of the events surrounding Bin Laden’s death and the consequences here. I like your two film examples about the event itself, but I wonder what examples you can come up with showcase the influence of this event on the wider media. What examples can we find of representation of these issues which come as a direct result of this event? I’m thinking about the representation of Bin Laden in South Park, for example. What influence on the wider media did this event have? Write two more examples below please.

    • There were also massive amounts of controversy caused following the ‘burial’ of Bin Laden, the fact that he was buried at see with no ceremony or warning left many Muslim clerics up in arms, “Americans want to humiliate Muslims through this burial,” said a radical cleric in Lebanon. This also opened up questions in the news as to ‘why?’ the body was disposed of in that way, in some cases conspiracy theories even arose but most people in the end just viewed the actions as a strategic mistake, but mostly leaving the public confused.

      South park the American animated sit-com has featured bin laden as a character multiple times during its time on air, the first of these was just 2 months after the 9/11 attacks in America and was the first south park episode to air following the attacks, despite being a very controversial topic the episode was surprisingly well taken and was even nominated for an Emmy award despite later being beaten by an episode of futurama, every episode of south park that involved Bin Laden always portrayed him as a crazy, out of his mind terrorist, this allowed the audience to be able to laugh about the topic, despite it being such a big topic. in an episode aired just seven month before the actual death of bin Laden south park aired an episode themselves which featured the death of the character.

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