Department Essay Example

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Media and Terrorism



Media and Terrorism

The word media is a generic term meaning all the channels or methods ofentertainment and information. The mass media is taken to encompassradio, newspapers and television, but also include music, books, films, visual arts and theatre.“Terrorism is theatre, and terrorist attacks are cautiously choreographed to attract the attention of the media (Jenkins, B. 1970). The term terrorism as used in this essay denotes a particular type of violence which is politically motivated.Media terrorism is modern terrorism. The media are attracted by most extreme terrorist doings not only because it is usually their duty to report on any significant event but also because the act of terrorism attracts large-scale attention. Today’s terrorists have taken this opportunity not only to make their victims suffer but also to build maximum attention around the globe.

Modern terrorists have also become “media competent” by knowing and applying the tactics of attracting people’s attention in most of their activities through the media. Not only do they now own the required technical equipment such as video cameras audio tapes and Internet facilities, they also know how come up with those images and videos which can guarantee a maximum impact through the mass media. This fact could lead to the conclusion that a significant option for the prevention and encouragement of terrorism would be not to allow the media and journalists to report on terrorist events or activities or at least to limit coverage as much as possible. Several countries have already chosen this option and, it would be difficult now in those countries to have access to events or information that is related to terrorist activities.

Some of the terrorist activities do not only involve the terrorists’ media as instruments of distribution. Frequently, journalists themselves are directly affected by these terrorist activities. They are often killed, become victims as hostages, are used for negotiations or, instead of purely reporting the facts, they comment on and interpret the attacks. Therefore, journalists are, in a variety of ways, an active part of these violent events.

Mass media are a channel through which society gets their images and information that they will derive their sense of reality.News has become a 24/7 business. Military and political leaders realize the importance and significance of this nonstop information stream reaching the masses. This often dictates to extent the way that those political and military and leaders (from both sides) would demonstrate how warfare is or should be prosecuted.Therefore, the Internet has been and can be used for many purposes by terrorists. For instance“Al-Qaeda made its name in pixels and blood, with deadly attacks and an array of electronic news media.” (Daniel Kimmage 2008). Examples are cyber-terrorism, communication with cells, and coordination of plans of attack, propaganda and information.

The Internet has become so popular that some think it is slowly replacing the role of the media, especially concerning terrorism. For instance, Moutot Michel of AFP said in an interview: “Terrorists do not necessarilyneed us anymore to convey their intentions and messages. The usual official media have been mainly replaced by the Internet which, eventually, is much quicker, much easier to use and much more effective. Terrorist groups now own their websites where they can convey and spread and their propaganda and, for most of them, they urge their followers and readers not to trust the media which they portray as the enemy.


A. Lockyer. The Relationship between Media and Terrorism. Retrieved from

Jenkins, B..Deconstructing the terrorism–news media relationship 1970. Retrieved from

Kimmage, D.. Terrorists and the Internet — Council on Foreign Relations.2008. Retrieved from…/CPDPerspectives_P2_2011.pdf