Relationship between media and terrorism

relationship between media and terrorism

on the accomplishment of their aims. Between media and terrorism there exists a very interactive (symbiotic) relationship, because media industry trends and. relationship between mass media and terrorist organizations. This symbiosis has certain implications for our societies. These implications, and the media's. The symbiotic relationship between the media and terrorism. Prof. Taha Najem. Professor of Media at Naif Arab University for Security Sciences. Mass media.

There was no new information to share. What was the point? To feed our endless desire for information? The rolling coverage that follows a terrorist attack is now part of the formula.

relationship between media and terrorism

The news is disseminated via social media and soon, the whole world knows. Media organisations switch to rolling coverage, and journalists scramble to learn more beyond the skeletal facts shared by authorities as the official investigation gets underway. ISIS regularly produces propaganda material like violent videos that are often broadcast by Western news organisations.

Osama Bin Laden followed news coverage in the US following the attacks from his hideout in an Afghani valley. Today, terrorism dominates global news bulletins.

The ‘perverse, symbiotic relationship’ between terrorism and the media | SBS Life

Why some acts are classified as terrorism but others aren't The person accused of the Melbourne Bourke Street Mall "massacre" has been charged with six counts of murder, but not any terror-related offences.

Meanwhile, recent tragic events overseas have been branded as "terrorist attacks".

relationship between media and terrorism

It keeps people pretty edgy, because at the end of the day they don't know if their next-door neighbour wants to kill them. Today, the threat of terrorism never feels far away, with news of terror raids in Sydney over last weekend only adding to our collective fear.

Media-wise, terrorists are able to elicit attention by orchestrating attacks with the media as a major consideration. They select specific targets, locations and timing of their planned attacks deliberately and according to media preferences, trying to satisfy the media criteria for newsworthiness. The attacks introduced a new level of mass-mediated terrorism because of the choices the planners made with respect to method, target, timing and scope.

Thinking about the Symbiotic Relationship between the Media and Terrorism

Terrorists also prepare visual aids for the media through means such as video clips of their actions, taped interviews and declarations, as well as press releases. Their penchant for using images is vividly exemplified by the recording of beheading videos. Whereas these videos were previously filmed in dark rooms, produced to low-quality resolution, now such beheadings videos are filmed in the open and to a high standard of quality.

The videos are slicker, utilising cinematic effects, e. Social media has been criticised for creating echo chambers for vulnerable people who watch emotionally provocative videos.

relationship between media and terrorism

In fact, media-savvy organisations like Daesh have taken the theatre of terrorism to new heights. It is hard not to conclude that terrorism judged on its own terms- as a way of getting attention and arousing alarm- has been a success.

This contradicts the evidence that proves that most terrorist movements fade away without attaining their strategic goals. Media Frames a Distorted Threat Perception of Terrorism The symbiotic relationship between terrorism and media produces a particular perception of terrorism as an existential threat to the security of Western countries.

The media plays a critical role in producing the illusion that terrorism is an existential threat to the security of Western countries. There is a difference between security and existential threats.

relationship between media and terrorism

In many developing countries, the systematic effects of terrorism are real- e. The existence of actors with the capacity for violence other than the state is always a threat to state legitimacy and, under certain conditions, can precipitate civil conflict.

However, the current terrorism threat posed to Western countries represents a security threat, not an existential threat. It is because of the availability bias that perceptions of risk may be in error. Second, it describes the hyper connectivity between people, places, and ideas.


It also depoliticises the threat, making it seem random or evil. Consequently, terrorism becomes code word for mystery and uncontrollable threat. The surfeit media coverage of terrorism in Western countries can be contrasted with the dearth treatment of terrorism in other parts of the world where the bulk of terrorism actually happens. Nigeria, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, but even these numbers are deceptive.

The rise of terrorism since is not a sign of how dangerous the world has become, but in fact the opposite. The copycat effect is the tendency of sensational publicity about violent murders or suicides to result in more of the same through imitation. They successfully diverted the plane, carrying thirty-two passengers and ten crew members to Algiers. This spectacular form of terrorism, designed to get global attention, would become a regular occurrence in subsequent years.

Significant for the security services, copy-cat attacks have the tendency to produce the phenomenon of waves: This copy-cat trend is currently manifested through the use of cars, trucks, vans and cleavers in the execution of terrorist acts. These low sophisticated attacks have made it very difficult for the security apparatus to respond effectively, both in terms of prevention and detection. Broadcasting these attacks communicates a powerful signal to prospective lone actors and would-be terrorists: An unexpected consequence of the media coverage of low-tech attacks is that it has lowered the bar for entry into terrorism.

Copy-cat terrorism provides terrorists, particularly lone actors, with the fame that they seek. Similar to celebrities, lone actor terrorists desire to become somebody- which they believe is attainable through terrorism.