An Assessment Of Media Contributed In The Fight Against Terrorism
|JOURNALISM AND MASS COMMUNICATION
No of pages
|MS Word & PDF
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1.0 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
One of the major functions of the mass media is the provision of adequate information about ongoings or current events in the society as a way of serving the public what they need to know.
The news media in particular serve this basic human needs by providing information on WHO? , WHAT? , WHY? , WHERE? And HOW?, Relaying to the public.
It is possible to argue that there is no particular time the public is more in need of information from the media than when the safety or even the survival of the public is threatened. In other words, the public is in greater need of more extensive information during a current danger in order to reduce uncertainty about the danger(Schlesinger, et al 1983:14) No wonder that the news media, particularly the broadcast media, become a relaying point of the public when terrorists strike.
Nevertheless, reporting on terrorism presents a number of “dilemma” and “paradoxes” to journalists whose responsibility is to inform the public “Objectively”; fairly” and “Accurately.
It is however, a dilemma to them because one of the main objectives of terrorist act is to maximize publicity in order to create a “psychological” effect on the public. This leads to some questions concerning the role of the media in reporting terrorism.
For example, is the MEDIA acting as an accomplice to the aims of the terrorists by craving cheap publicity for them? Is the media not magnifying the threat and fear in the way they report terrorism instead of allaying the fear?
Is the media reports of terrorism encouraging more of such acts as terrorists may be more emboldened by the massive publicity they gain for their terror and intensify the acts of terrorism?
Are the media really objective and accurate in the way they report terrorism in their narrative and framing of the terrorist? How best should the media report incidents of terrorist violence?
These are the complex questions that this article tries to put into perspective with the aim of providing a personal view point on how the media has been reporting terrorism.
The aim of this article is not to provide absolute answers to the questions because I think there are no perfect answers or consensus on the complex issue of how the media reporter should report on terrorism.
Rather, it simply argues that any form of political violence that goes unreported or not reported sensationally;
It also argues that the simplification of terrorist acts without recourse to historical details and motives of the terrorist by the media has not been helpful in reducing acts of terrorism.
If the media go beyond the rhetoric of the official perspective and stop labeling terrorists and defining their acts as evil against good and instead provide a deeper analysis of what motives such acts carry, the media would have gone a long way to resolve the “MENACE” that has deeply taken root in the fabric of our national and international relationship.
It should be noted that the history of terrorism is as old as man dealing with humans willingness to use violence to affect politics.
However, global terrorism became a prominent issue in the late 1960’s when hijacking became a favored tactic.
As the basis of my argument in this study, I first attempt to illuminate the “interdependent” nature of relationship between the media and terrorist which should help expose or explain the convention and narratives which have led to terrorism and how the people of the world have been able to benefit from the information of the media.
As I discuss these issues, I will draw on pertinent theories of mass communication ranging from those that explain various effects of mass media.
1.1 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the Objectives of this study:
• To enlighten the public and see how the media has influence the attacks of terrorist.
• To see if the media have a positive or negative influence on the people.
• To see if the media are publicizing the terrorist for their own interest, that is getting the attention of more viewers.
• To examine the cause and effect of global terrorism on the people, government and the economy.
• To see how the media has also assisted the government in fighting global terrorism.
1.2 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
For the purpose of this study, the following research questions will be considered
• Is the media not magnifying the threat and fear of the people in the way they report terrorism?
• What are the effects of media crusade against terrorism?
• What roles should the media play in fighting against global terrorism?
• To what extent do media report terrorism?
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this study is to inform the people on how to help the media in fighting terrorism by giving information to the police and other organizations that fight against terrorism.
This study also explains how the media had contributed in the fight against terrorism.
It also proffers solutions and advice to the media on how to improve in their reportage of terrorism.