Good writing engages and explains things to viewers. What one can see and observe, however, plays on the viewers’ feelings and emotions.
The video and still images seen from Sept. 11, 2001 shook the lives of many American citizens, including myself. While broadcast and print reporters talked about the tragedy that took place in this country, it was the media images that citizens engaged with the most. One might argue did they even have a choice based on the vivid images seen on television screens on that day.
Case in point, in 2001, I was eight years old in the third grade at Adhiambo Elementary School. I remember being in class, learning new information like any normal day as a kid in elementary school. Then, all of a sudden, the head principal told all students to come to the auditorium to watch the tragedy that had taken place.
As a third grade student, I did not understand all the language and all the technical words the reporters used when discussing the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
But, I knew that airplanes carrying people all around the world were not supposed to fly into buildings. I knew that buildings were not supposed to collapse like the World Trade Centers did. I knew that people were not supposed to jump from outrageous heights when buildings were on fire or collapsing. I knew that people were crying for a reason.
For people of age, they knew that planes had been hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Centers, causing millions to lose their lives and putting safety at risk for many citizens around the country.
As an eight year old, the images gave me insight of the destruction and sadness this country experienced on 9/11. Now, 14 years later, I have a more in-depth perspective behind the images that I saw.
With the anniversary just behind us, this tragic event reminds us how much the media has an agenda and the ultimate power of engaging viewers. Words tell a story, but videos and pictures connect the viewers’ thoughts and feelings to what has taken place.