How the changing media is changing terrorism | Jason Burke | World news | The Guardian
Due to the convenience, affordability, and broad reach of social media platforms such as The relationship between terrorism and the media has long been noted. on the symbiotic nature of the relationship between terrorists and the media, the media was the release of the Osama bin Laden audio and video recordings. The Media-Related Goals and Means of Terrorists this event with pictures, videos and personal stories (Baran ). . Accordingly, in order to alter the symbiotic relationship between terrorism and the media, it is of high. Mass media and terrorism have become ever more intertwined in a mutually beneficial relationship often described as 'symbiotic.' This column.
Today, several governments around the world harshly restrain private media let alone public news networks from reporting on terrorism.
The ‘perverse, symbiotic relationship’ between terrorism and the media
Two notorious cases are Russia and China and their imposed limits on media coverage of terrorist acts. These restrictions are manifestly ill-advised and needless to say, have no place in free societies. Media outlets in authoritarian countries may have some leeway to cover terrorism, but newsrooms often exercise self-censorship to avoid government retaliation in the form of penalties, license-stripping, legal persecution, harassment, or much worse.
Self-censorship is a loaded term that should be used only when media outlets omit to report on terrorism because they are afraid of government reprisals.The rise of ISIS, explained in 6 minutes
That is not the case in most liberal and democratic regimes. The journalistic profession is rooted in the people's right to know. Free speech is one of the foundations of our democracies, so any kind of imposed regulation diluting our free media will weaken the public's confidence in the integrity of news networks.
Moreover, paying no attention to acts of terror could make terrorists even more violent, as they would see a need to stage yet gorier attacks to bring back the coverage of the global media. The kind of self-restraint advocated here is one that moves the journalistic profession away from broadcasting and publishing sensationalist elements of the plans and atrocities of extremists, and reflects on the enormous influence it has in society before covering the propaganda of fundamentalists for the sake of boosting audience ratings.
The Power of Contextualizing: As a result, only a fraction of the wider public is aware of the historical, geopolitical, and social grievances that fuel extremists' loathing towards the societies and governments that they target. The quality media as opposed to the more popular, intrinsically sensationalist news organizations like tabloid newspapers should step up its reporting standards and underline the root causes—not the twisted motives put forward by terrorists in their propaganda—that make fundamentalists kill civilians.
By highlighting certain characteristics and downplaying others, the media frames terrorism in a way that helps or distorts the public's understanding of terrorism.
Some expressions, concepts, and analogies play into the hands of terrorists. Rupert Murdoch, arguably the world's most powerful media mogul, used to mock Obama for his refusal to label Daesh's terrorism as 'Islamic.
Merah reheated frozen food in a microwave and checked his weapons. He spoke with negotiators and described how he had travelled to Pakistan a few months earlier to receive some desultory training from a faction linked to al-Qaida. He also explained, incoherently, why he had killed seven people over the previous two weeks in a series of shootings. But most of the time, Merah worked on his computer. Just a few hours before he was killed by armed police after a sustained firefight, Merah finished editing a minute video clip.
Terrorism and social media - Wikipedia
It was a compilation of images from the GoPro camera that he had attached to his body armour before each of his killings. GoPro primarily caters to practitioners of extreme sports who wish to obtain point-of-view footage of their adrenalin-charged exploits. Merah had filmed his preparations, the murders themselves and his motorbike getaways.
His first three victims were off-duty soldiers, two Muslims and a Catholic. The others, a rabbi and three children, had died when he had attacked a Jewish school.
Terrorism and the Media: A Dangerous Symbiosis
The images showed how Merah had chased and caught one of those children: Merah grabbed her by the hair, changed his weapon when the first jammed, and then finally shot the girl in the head. Roughly 24 hours after police located Merah and surrounded his building, he managed to slip through a gap in the security cordon.
The following section will discuss how the other side of the equation—the media—portrays terrorism and benefits from it.
How and Why the Media Covers Terrorism-Related Stories Needless to say, terrorism is an attractive boon for media coverage, mainly because terrorist attacks make viewer ratings surge and profits increase. To be more specific, terrorism has many aspects that make it a very attractive subject for the media, as it has the elements of drama, danger, blood, human tragedy, miracle stories, heroes, shocking footage, and action Terrorism and the Media Another reason is that violence is a central and defining quality in contemporary television culture and is critical to the semiotic and financial momentum of contemporary media organizations Lewis Also, the part of the reason why the media is that irresponsible and excessively profit-oriented in the context of terrorism is that a considerable number of top media executives today come from the corporate world, but not from the ranks of journalists Biernatzki The problem does not lie in why the media covers terrorism, but lies in how the media covers terrorism.
It is by and large the case that the media covers terrorist acts by writing sensation-seeking, enlarging anecdotic stories, especially on who is to blame, repeating the same images over and over again, separating physical and mental health consequences of disasters, and creating new syndromes Vasterman, Yzermans, and Dirkzwager In other words, as Altheide underlines, the politics of fear is a dominant motif for news and popular culture today.
To understand how the media portrays terrorists and covers related stories and news, one should take a closer look at the mediums the media employs. The media generally uses agenda setting and framing to highlight and make certain issues more prominent than others. Agenda setting is the theory that the more attention a media outlet pays to a certain phenomenon, the more importance the public attributes to such an issue Terrorism and the Media Thus, the words and images that make up the frame can be distinguished from the rest of the news by their capacity to stimulate support of or opposition to the sides in a political conflict Entman Very little of the detail, the human density, the passion of Arab-Muslim life has entered the awareness of even those people whose profession it is to report the Islamic world Nacos and Torres-Reina The media indeed profits from the drama terrorism creates, and covers the terrorism-related news in a sensational way.
Through employing the above-mentioned mediums, however, the media may directly or indirectly serve the interests of terrorists by simplifying stories for the viewer to the point that it has little to do with the actual events.
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Repeating the traumatizing scenes and stories may also serve them, as the goal of the terrorists is to be in the media as often and long as possible. The better terrorists understand this mechanism behind the media, the more coverage they may receive and take further steps for massive publicity and the opportunity to showcase their ability to strike.
Obviously, terrorists were aware of the fact that attacking the symbolic targets in the US, killing thousands of citizens, and causing a tremendous amount of damage to the American and international economy, as well as the image of the US would be sensational news around the globe. The response of the media in the US was often far from being objective, calm, and prudent. Instead, media organs oozed hatred and hysteria, calling for action against mainly Arabs and Muslims and crying for revenge, as terrorists would have planned.
The major corporate media tended to support the patriotic discourse and the policies of the then president George W. Terrorists were obviously aware of the magnitude of sensation their attacks would create; however, the way media covered news and stories rendered it possible for the terrorists to conceive an unimaginable victory in terms of penetrating into the daily lives of a huge audience.
They attracted global attention, obtained global recognition, received a degree of respect among sympathizers, and gained legitimacy in the eyes of supporters and potential recruits, through the fear narrative the media employed. Recommendations The media plays a central role in the calculus of political violence and are put into positions where they can magnify or minimize these kinds of acts and their perpetrators, or, of course, they can provide coverage that avoids either one of those extremes Nacos a.
Under this light, the recommendations below can be implemented to minimize the media-related effects of terrorism: However, the way the events are framed and the extent to which it is covered is also important.
Accordingly, in order to alter the symbiotic relationship between terrorism and the media, it is of high importance for the media to reevaluate and change its rhetoric when covering the terrorism-related news and stories.
Achieving this may not only prevent terrorists from using media coverage as an important publicity and recruitment tool, but may also prevent the emergence of an atmosphere of fear at the public level.
It may also force government and security elite to make more rational decisions regarding countering terrorism and dealing with public outrage. Hence, news coverage with less repetition of horrific scenes, less traumatization, less sensation and more information and prudence are essential in the first place to break the symbiosis.
Objectivity — The media should have a conscious sense of its responsibilities to the public, as one of the goals of terrorists it to shake public confidence in their own security.