The cultural experience of so-called ‘late’ modernity is distinguished by an unprecedented expansion in our field of cultural vision (Jenks 1995). It is also recognised that in this development, large-scale acts of violence and extreme experiences of human suffering feature as routine components of media representations of the social world. John Thompson observes that via television and the internet, we are regularly brought into contact with forms of mass destruction that would be unknown to previous generations (Thompson 1995: 225-7). Similarly, when highlighting the peculiarity of the cultural landscapes we occupy, Michael Ignatieff observes that through modern media of mass communication we have become routine ‘voyeurs of the suffering of others, tourists amid their landscapes of anguish’ (Ignatieff 1999: 11).