Fear Factor of Media to the Public After Events of Terrorism

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 129
  • Published : August 8, 2007
Open Document
Text Preview
Fear Factor of Media to the Public After Events of Terrorism

Nowadays, people are living in fear due to various terrorist activities such as suicide bombing, threats, harassments, kidnapping, that has affected the many lives of innocent civilians. One of the most renowned and unforgettable terrorist event these days is the 9/11 brought about by Bin Laden wherein a plane is hijacked and crashed through the pentagon killing thousands of people. Events such as this 9/11 event triggers massive coverage in news media with hundreds of stories highlighting the grief, suffering and shock of the victims and their relatives, condemnation of the administration and public officials, speculation about its underlying causes and possible consequences of the events and the expressions of sympathy from world leaders. Reverberations and aftershocks triggered by these events still continue to impact international relations, domestic policy and public opinion. Additionally it has brought a major debate and clashed over the definition of terror, its social and political roles, its ethics of counter-terrorism operations, state complicity, dangers of future terrorist activities, failure of democracy and fueling religious fundamentalism.

The role of mass media on the coverage of terrorism is an important issue arising from such events. Journalism often attracts controversy, not least where news coverage becomes part of the contest to define the social meaning of events. Reporting terrorism—whether the destruction of 9/11, suicide bombers in the second Intifada, or violence in Chechnya—raises significant questions about how far news coverage can meet journalistic standards of ‘balance', ‘truth' and ‘objectivity' in cases of extreme political conflict. Debate has centered around two questions. First, does media coverage err on the side of group terrorists, lending them legitimacy and credibility, as well as unintentionally encouraging further incidents through a ‘contagion' effect? Alternatively, do journalistic conventions err instead on the side of governments, due to an over-reliance upon the framework of interpretation offered by public officials, security experts, and military commentators, with news functioning ultimately to reinforce Understanding this situation is important, not just for its own sake, but also because perceptions of the growing threat of terrorism in America has created widespread public concern, as well as fueled radical changes in U. S. security and foreign policy. The events of 9/11 moved counter-terrorism to the top of the public-policy agenda in America, leading the Bush administration to boost spending on police, firefighters, and emergency medical teams; to create the Department of Homeland Security; as well as taking steps designed to improve airport security, intelligence gathering, security at US borders, the prevention of bio-terrorism, and reserves of medicines. In American foreign policy, the events of 9/11 initiated the war in Afghanistan, as well as shaping President George Bush's identification of an ‘Axis of Evil' with ‘state terrorism' linking Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, while simultaneously thawing relations with leaders in Russia, China, and Pakistan. Discussion of issues that used to be regarded as the province of a few specialized, esoteric, and highly-technical security and intelligence experts—such as the potential risks of biological and chemical warfare, ‘loose nukes' and ‘dirty' bombs, and ‘weapons of mass destruction'—are now widely debated in public on the American airwaves. Explaining these developments requires an understanding of perceptions of terrorist threats and, in particular, the role of the news media in this process. This book explores how frames about terrorism are generated and reinforced, compares how far these frames shape patterns of news coverage in different contexts and cultures, and analyzes how far conventional frames about terrorism have the power to affect public...
tracking img