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CCI Commemorates 9/11 With Screening of "The Falling Man"

Submitted by Donna Silvey on September 2, 2011 – 4:01pm

In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the UT Knoxville College of Communication and Information (CCI) is sponsoring a screening of the documentary film “The Falling Man.”

The film will be shown at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 8, in the CCI Auditorium in the Communications Building. The event is free and open to the public.

Many media images from 9/11 focused on the heroic efforts of policeman, firefighters and other rescuers. But there were other stories to tell. This is about one of those stories.

“The Falling Man” was a photograph taken by Associated Press photographer Richard Drew, of a man falling from the North Tower of the World Trade Center during the attacks in New York City. In most American newspapers, the photograph ran once and never again. In fact, newspapers were forced to defend themselves against charges that they exploited a man’s death, stripped him of his dignity and invaded his privacy.

While many thought the falling man would be easily identified, its subject remained unnamed. Peter Cheney, a reporter at the Toronto Globe and Mail, was assigned the task of identifying the falling man. This documentary details his efforts and offers a glimpse into the power of the media, the way the events of 9/11 were framed and how culture and media intersect.

The screening will be followed by a discussion of its implications. Reed Massengill, a UT Knoxville journalism alumnus (’84) who worked across the street from the Twin Towers and currently lives in Knoxville, will recount his experiences of that day. Documentary expert Bob Legg, an associate professor in the college’s School of Journalism and Electronic Media, will offer commentary on the film. Margaret Morrison, interim director of the college’s School of Advertising and Public Relations, will facilitate the discussion.

Refreshments during the event are sponsored by the college’s School of Information Sciences.

All students and faculty who wish to share their newspapers, magazines or other materials collected from the days immediately following September 11, 2001 are encouraged to bring those on Thursday, Sept. 8.  Display tables and rolling white boards will be provided for materials to be displayed in the lobby.