This article considers the influence of the ‘visual turn’ in diverse academic literature on the media representation of conflict. Primarily drawing on examples from American and British scholarship, the article presents encouraging evidence that the visualisation of conflict in news media is finally getting the kind of sustained theoretical scrutiny and rigorous empirical analysis that it deserves. Authors from varied disciplinary fields of research, from security studies to visual culture, are now engaging in a range of analytical and empirical investigations into the purportedly powerful roles of mediated visual imagery during wartime, employing conceptual tools such as ‘mediatisation’ and ‘performativity’. This article offers a summation of some of the key approaches: their intersections, distinctions and usefulness; while suggesting trajectories for further critical research into media visualisation of conflict.