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!"#$%&' (' Russell Hutson Dr.

Erin Dietel-McLaughlin WR13300 Section 09 15 November 2013 The Dangerous Relationship Between Media and Terrorism As a threat to public safety and global welfare, terrorism is a powerful issue that affects all nations worldwide. While most individuals have been affected by this affair sometime throughout their lives, it is somewhat difficult to put into words what the term entails. In Global Terrorism and New Media: The Post-Al Qaeda Generation, U.S. law defines terrorism as, premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience (Seib 2). The ambiguity of this definition and many similar classifications is the further identification of terms such as politically motivated or noncombatant targets, which can be interpreted several different ways. Although the term itself is challenging to understand, the consistent role it has played throughout history cannot easily be questioned. Whether implemented by established governments such as the Allied and Axis powers on civilian populations during World War II or recent radical movements like Al-Qaeda, it is clearly evident that the end goal of such terroristic acts is the destruction of public morale and feelings of vulnerability. Though, these resulting effects cannot be achieved without specific forms of communication, which is the central focus of terrorist attacks. This means of communication, or media, is the primary way in which the publics thoughts are formulated. By simply killing large numbers of civilians to produce an outrageous death toll, terrorists do not accomplish their objectives. While these lives and physical damage are nonetheless extremely important, they lie at the beginning of the destruction

!"#$%&' )' resulting from terroristic operations. According to Philip Seib, Unless the terrorists had sought to kill particular individuals or destroy a particular physical asset, their success in terrorizing through the act per se will be narrow (10). However, as reports and photographs of these terroristic events find their way to larger audiences, their success begins to magnify exponentially. Terrorism has always existed throughout history, but the state in which it is found today gives rise to a number of implications that have never before been experienced. Media such as the Internet, television, radio, and newspaper have developed vastly in this new age of technology, and are now capable of reaching publics worldwide at instantaneous speeds. As a result, conveying speech and images to these masses is far easier than it has ever been, which is a major concern considering the capability and power of these messages. In our era of immediate publishing, there exists an eminent relationship between media and terrorism, where both agents act to fuel one another in a symbiotic interaction that gains more potential for global destruction as technology develops on a day-to-day basis. This paper will seek to examine this potent affiliation, as well as develop the probable future of its influence if this dependency continues to survive. During this period of rapid advancements in technology, the necessity for terrorism as a topic for news is monumentally greater than it has existed in the past. From Head of the Cardiff School of Journalism, Justin Lewis, this interesting subject is examined in greater detail in Terrorism and News Narratives: In this vein, terrorism contains a number of features making it immediately recognizable as news. This is, of course, part of the point, since one of the main objectives of terrorist activity is to make an impact on political elites, the public, or both. It follows that the terrorist act is a veritable checklist of elements that feature on most definitions of news

!"#$%&' *' value: notably violence, conflict, drama, a threat to public safety and an ability to register on the political agenda. (Lewis 258) This specific use of terrorism as a source for media can be found in recent years, notably the events that began on September 11th, 2001. With hijacked airplanes devastating the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., these terrorist attacks were clearly outstanding moments in history in regard to news worth. Having been shown on millions of televisions throughout the world, these events seemed as if they might have been produced in Hollywood given the amount of incomprehensible destruction that took place that morning. Many Americans have claimed that the world had changed after this day, which signifies the prominence of these attacks not only on the United States but also on countries around the world. However, the enormity of this day was almost all due in part by news coverage, which is a concerning piece of evidence that could be argued as an overrepresentation of the realistic threats of terrorism. Its worthwhile to note that as such attacks develop, the coverage established through the media is remarkable. Since 2001, the reportage of terrorism received more coverage in the following two years than ever before (Lewis 258). While the tangible incidents increase the volume of coverage, preceding and subsequent measures such as documenting threats and statements made by the terrorist groups and supporters almost always amplify the scope of the matter (Lewis 260). Analyzing these facts, its critical to understand the importance of the way in which the news media chooses which stories to cover as well as the manner in how they convey them. Although many assaults lead to great news stories and increased viewer ratings, the repercussions can be viewed as considerably greater in the opposing perspective. As stories unfold in our time today, it is effortlessly detected how quickly the world learns of certain events

!"#$%&' +' through a variety of channels such as Twitter or popular news networks. The danger in this comprehension, however, is how out of control this craving of media can become, not only for networks, but for the public as well. As tragic occasions take place, eyes are cursorily drawn to screens in order to grasp the state of our world, which seems undeniable considering instinctive human nature. Yet, while viewership skyrockets, this equally treacherous factor of attentiveness follows suit, intensifying the effects of horror and chaos even further within the public realm, particularly in large-scale attacks. Explored in The Role of the Media and Media Hypes in the Aftermath of Disasters, such hysteria seems uncontrollable: During a media hype, news coverage seems to lead a life of its own, pushed forward mainly by self-reinforcing processes within the news production itself... Once a topic gains a certain level of attention in the media, it attracts more attention, and, because it attracts more attention, it becomes more newsworthy. This self- referential system creates positive feedback loops, expanding the news wave. (Vasterman 111) Yet, if such a cruel relationship exists, and needs to be combated in this epoch of broadcasting, one might argue that the media, in regards to television, should balance its responsibility of reporting potentially dangerous news with these concerns. While this experiment could certainly prove useful by establishing the credibility of news networks, the vast thirst for violence and drama from the public overshadows these ideals indefinitely, making this anchorage seem unmanageable to dismantle. The complexity of this issue survives not only in the requisite of terrorism in our media, but also in the conflicting direction. This dynamic bond seems to thicken as terrorism continues to exist, but a number of other issues must be considered first in order to provide a better understanding and estimation of its future. Just as much as news media requires terrorism to subsist in order to establish a

!"#$%&' ,' prosperous existence, the reverse holds an equal, if not more, purpose in this debated association. A fundamental aspect of terrorism is the ability to harness mass amounts of publicity in order to showcase the capability of successfully targeting robust and authoritative nations. With new media developing rapidly over the course of the past few years, it seems almost inevitable that terrorist groups can easily obtain this goal by some means. In 2006, Brigitte Nacos wrote a paper with references to this fulfillment entitled Terrorism/Counterterrorism and Media in the Age of Global Communication. In this work, she raises a remarkable point about this reliance: For terrorists, winning the attention of the news media, the public, and government officials and intimidating their declared enemies is not enough. They typically want to publicize their political causes and depend on the mass media to explain and discuss their rationale for resorting to violence. This exercise in strategic communication or public diplomacy is designed to inform and educate both friends and foes about the motives for terrorist deeds. For this to happen the perpetrators of terrorism do not necessarily have to do the explaining themselves, the media do it for them. (Nacos 7) An exemplary incidence of this scheme can be found in the catastrophic bombings in London on July 7th, 2005. While British coverage of the radicalization of young Muslims in Europe was present before this precise date, it was swiftly trumped by the outbreak of exposure after the attacks, informing the public about the certain developments of criticism from Western European Muslims that, arguably, should have found light in the news long before this case (Nacos 7). These kinds of results, in which the media responds to attacks, appear to promote the existence of terrorism, giving it the proper fuel to burn its hazardous flame. Another significant event in relation to this increase of reporting is found in the familiar attacks on New York in 2001. Prior to this episode, not much airtime or media importance was held in respect to the growing anti-

!"#$%&' -' American feelings of Muslims and Arabs in the Middle East. Surprisingly enough, media coverage was expanded to these parts of the world shortly after the attacks, providing viewers with a deeper comprehension of these cultures and people. Therefore, its easy to see that when terrorists seek to further their ideals and motives in specific locations, the media works in their definitive advantage. In order to do this, the media contributes valuable promotion to audiences who, after experiencing heartrending attacks on their homes, are profoundly engrossed by any information relevant to the substance at hand. As terrorists accomplish their goals, the media benefit accordingly as they are able to widen audience size and expand circulation, leading to higher revenues and success against competition (Nacos 1). Despite its complexity, this cooperative relationship holds a pertinent position in our increasingly dependent world of media today, as new social media is synthesized hastily and becomes readily available to billions worldwide. With what seems like virtually endless boundaries for these collective communications, its imperative that the future of the two be reviewed, along with any applicable resolutions to this continually growing collaboration. As social media continues to advance at shocking speeds, its concerning to imagine what kind of influence is possible on the direction of terrorism and violence in the future. Having analyzed this essential, symbiotic relationship between these two entities, the power of this alliance is unmistakably evident, and serves to function as a source of horror and anxiety for citizens of nations and their leaders worldwide. Rather than explicitly defining what possible futures might be in store for this duo, a variety of solutions will be analyzed in order to formulate a number of probable outcomes in our age of new media. To begin, familiar author Philip Seib composed a stimulating piece entitled Public Diplomacy Versus Terrorism, in which he offers public diplomacy as a counter-terrorism tool. Public diplomacy can be defined simply as the

!"#$%&' .' informational activities enacted by governments in order to promote foreign policy objectives and influence both domestic foreign audiences alike. According to Seib: The need for greater attention to public diplomacy is partly a function of globalized communication, which has sharpened the points at which policy and public meet. Proliferation of satellite television and the Internet means that people know more and know it faster than at any pervious time. (Seib 64) In agreement with this concept of burgeoning media, one of the critical duties of public diplomacy is to counterbalance the messages of hatred and violence that have found their position in these mediums. Primary targets of this exposure to violence include teenagers in nations such as Jordan, who regularly view media of American soldiers being killed in addition to tempting promises made to them if they join the fight. This recruitment, Seib argues, should be a center of focus for public diplomacy of nations, who need to be able to utilize new communication technologies in order to halt this type of violent activity. To do so, well-designed counter media needs to be produced to target members of the political public, just as terrorism does, to eventually bring an end, or drastically diminish, the threat of terrorism. From Seib, we learn that the audiences for enacting these solutions are participators of politics, more importantly those who hold power in government. Therefore, if the solutions are present, these officials must be putting into action policies to combat this problem. Though, this is not always the case, which can be observed in recent years with situations such as the War on Terror. From Danny Schechters Challenging The Media War a sense of media corruption begins to surface: Critics were silent, while official claims went largely unscrutinized as an armada of exgenerals recommended, placed or vetted by the Pentagon were recruited to offer

!"#$%&' /' background and colour commentary on network news shows. There was soon no distance between the mentality that waged the war and the one commenting on it... Television outlets integrated their war coverage into their pre-existing and expanded formats, driven by anchormen, field reporters, electronic graphics, pundits, and military experts the Pentagon trusted and cleared... Some critics asked how the coverage would have been different if we had a state-run television system in place. There were no answers. (Schechter 308) As the War on Terror continued, another war was being waged over the US public in order to sell these wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in such a manner of state broadcasting. Schechter argues that a form of media collapsed occurred, unable to act independently and responsibly under pressure from political administrators determined to secure captivating chronicles for their ongoing battles. To fight this immorality, media must be actively exposed and opposed, while at the same time honoring those who report honestly and accurately. Only then will a true solution to this dangerous problem of media and terrorism find its way into our agendas, at which time we will be qualified to stop it. While the capabilities and dynamics of our media expand each day, its imperative to acknowledge that the potential impact for terroristic acts increases at the same rate. With multitudes of social media at their disposal, terrorists are now more than ever capable of making an enormous impact on their target audiences with their violent actions. As this impending danger looms above our world today, solutions to this problem become increasingly relevant. Given examples of possible opposition strategies, it can be reasoned that the public is generally incapable of making any significant changes in the way this relationship develops. However, the way in which we view and use media is an important factor that can alter the impression it has on

!"#$%&' 0' us. Ultimately, political officials will be responsible for regulating the media and its accurate representation of particular events such as terrorist attacks, which can unquestionably dictate the state of the nation in a short period of time given the strength of our networks today. Nations must arm themselves with realistic weapons to limit communication as our world of technology and media continue to evolve together. As time progresses, it will be up to those in power to develop viable counterterrorism strategies and put them into action. While it might take years for this implementation, the benefits will be greatly treasured by inhibiting one of the great perils that our world faces today.

!"#$%&' (1' Works Cited Lewis, Justin. "Terrorism and News Narratives." Media and Terrorism: Global Perspectives. Ed. Des Freedman and Daya Kishan. Thussu. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2012. 257-70. Print. Nacos, Brigitte L. 2006. Terrorism/Counterterrorism and Media in the Age of Global Communication. United Nations University Global Seminar Second Shimame-Yamaguchi Session, TerrorismA Global Challenge. Schechter, Danny. "Challenging The Media War." Media and Terrorism: Global Perspectives. Ed. Des Freedman and Daya Kishan. Thussu. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2012. 306-16. Print. Seib, Philip M., and Dana M. Janbek. Global terrorism and new media: the post-Al Qaeda generation. London: Routledge, 2011. Print. Seib, Philip. "Public Diplomacy Versus Terrorism." Media and Terrorism: Global Perspectives. Ed. Des Freedman and Daya Kishan. Thussu. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2012. 63-76. Print. Vasterman, Peter, C. Joris Yzermans, and Anja J. E. Dirkzwager. 2005. The Role of the Media and Media Hypes in the Aftermath of Disasters. Epidemiologic Reviews 27.