Terrorism In The Media

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Naeja Silar February 19, 2010 Domestic and International Terrorism Week 7- Term Paper Terrorism in the Media Terrorism involves symbolic communication usually aimed at an audience far beyond the immediate victims of violence. Terrorism is such an effective communication device that governments respond by trying to send their own messages through the media. Communication develops in three primary manners. The first, and most obvious, involves the reporting of terrorist events. Media exposure magnifies events, campaigns, and causes, and both terrorists and governments attempt to manipulate reports so that they are portrayed in a favorable light. In the second, the media plays a major role in creating all social definition of terrorism. It can globalize a local event or personalize a global event on a local level. In the third, the World Wide Web has become conduit for propaganda and communication. In any form, terrorism sends a message. Terrorists, governments, and the media see the function, roles and responsibilities of the media when covering terrorists’ events from differing and often competing perspectives. Such perspectives drive behavior during terrorist incidents, often resulting in both tactical and strategic gains to the terrorist operation and overall terrorist cause. The challenge to both the governmental and press communities is to understand the dynamics of terrorist enterprise and to develop policy options designed to serve the interests of government, the media, and the society. Terrorists must have publicity in some form if they are to gain attention, inspire fear and respect, and secure favorable understanding of their cause, if not their act. Governments need public understanding, cooperation, restraint, and loyalty in efforts to limit terrorist harm to society and in efforts to punish or apprehend those responsible for
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