Hennenfent, Jessica (2016). “Guns don’t kill people…selfies do”: The narcissism fallacy in media coverage of selfie-related deaths. Paper to be presented at the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference, Critical-Cultural Studies Division, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2016.
Grady doctoral student Jessica Hennenfent won Top Student Paper, Critical-Cultural Studies Division, Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, for her paper.
Abstract: This work explores how the Narcissus myth has been inaccurately adopted by media, specifically in the reporting of selfie-related deaths. The Narcissus myth, while about a boy in love with his own image, loved himself so much he would not share his image with others. Given that sharing is an integral part of understanding the contemporary selfie phenomenon, this work seeks to dismantle the narcissism fallacy in media coverage of selfie-related deaths. Through a textual analysis of six newspapers, this paper argues that exhibitionism is a more accurate critique of the selfie, and one that fits more in line with the digital age, as opposed to the analog nature of narcissism.