The critical potential of commemorative journalism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies of commemorative journalism have mostly stressed its integrative functionality and tendency to provide oversimplified narrations of the past. Correspondingly, this article explores the critical and at times subversive potential of commemorative journalism. It does so via the analysis of commemorative-photographic supplements, issued by Israeli dailies between 1968 and 2013. The study first identifies the storytelling building blocks used to construct the dominant commemorative narrative. Next, it illuminates three storytelling strategies – challenging the national voice, the national plot, and the national gaze – all contributing to an undermining of the national synecdoche. Finally, these findings are contextualized within the political and cultural rereading of the Israeli national past.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1682-1701
Number of pages20
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I wish to thank Ma?ariv, Ha?aretz and Shimrit Tzur for granting me permission to incorporate the images featured in this article. Thanks to Shiran Simonov for her research assistance, and to Roei Davidson, Gilad Halpern, Daniel Yusufov, Eyal Zandberg, Barbie Zelizer and the two reviewers for their insightful comments on previous versions of this article. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The research discussed in this article was supported by a grant (509/16) from the Israel Science Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • Collective memory
  • Israel
  • commemoration
  • photography
  • ritual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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