Media and Terrorism - 9970

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Media and Terrorism

According to Brian Jenkins, 'Terrorism is theatre' and terrorists attacks carefully to attract the attention of the media.Terrorism and the media have had a long-running relationship. In an imperfect world, they are, in fact, the perfect couple. The media needs terrorism to boost ratings, make money, and drive headlines. Terrorism needs the media to project fear, destruction, promote their message, and provide the ability to effect the globe through 24/7 news cycles that broadcast their horrific acts free of charge.

When it comes to terrorism, the media acts as a “force multiplier.” A force multiplier is something that increases a group’s ability to become more powerful without increasing the size of the group.The media acts as a force multiplier by taking a single act and magnifying its effects by broadcasting it for all to see.

Terrorists need publicity, usually free publicity that a group could normally not afford or buy. Any publicity surrounding a terrorist act alerts the world that a problem exists that cannot be ignored and must be addressed. From a terrorist perspective, an unedited interview with a major figure is a treasured prize, such as the May 1997 CNN interview with Saudi dissident, terrorist recruiter and financier Usama Bin Ladin. For news networks, access to a terrorist is a hot story and is usually treated as such.

Legitimacy. Terrorist causes want the press to give legitimacy to what is often portrayed as ideological or personality feuds or divisions between armed groups and political wings. For the military tactician, w