7/7: A reflexive re-evaluation of journalistic practice
First Published September 3, 2018 Research Article
The suicide bombings of 7 July 2005 remain the most serious terror attacks in the United Kingdom to date in the so-called ‘war on terror’. Much has been published on the war on terror but few journalists have reflected on their practice post 9/11 and none on their domestic coverage of the 7/7 attacks. This article is written by a journalist who covered the London bombings for a UK national newspaper and more recently is a practitioner-academic. Using academic texts focusing on the domestic reporting of the war on terror as stimuli for scholarly reflection, this article reviews the author’s own coverage using reflexive practice and content analysis. This article places 7/7 in the continuum of reporting subsequent to 11 September 2001 (9/11) and issues discussed. Some 63 authored articles were considered from the period. Scholarly texts have proposed a range of concepts to analyse coverage from including political ritual, trauma, national wound and hegemony. This article concludes by noting that while many academic texts see coverage of terrorism as an elite discourse, dominated by political economy drivers and responding to events in a homogeneous reactivity, in practice, news organisations can have complex responses and journalists, agency in their coverage of major terrorism events.