Terrorism And Media

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If there is one thing that is a necessity for terrorist organizations, it is an audience. Terrorism needs a direct target, it also needs indirect targets to gaze upon their actions and assist them in reaching their objectives. Thus terrorism needs the persuasive element of the media. This serves as their propaganda machine. It is the ideal relationship to a terrorist organization. According to Raphael F. Perl (1997), “terrorists must have publicity in some form if they are to gain attention, inspire fear and respect of their cause, if not their act.” Therefore, using the media would be instrumental in providing a bigger audience and platform. In understanding the relationship of the terrorist and media it is crucial to understand the four goals of terrorists in using the media. According to Bridget Lebens Nacos (2007), terrorists’ goals for using the media are gaining attention and awareness, recognition of their motives, getting respect and sympathy, and a quasi-legitimate status. One, terrorists want to put on dramatic production, something that will leave those watching psychologically altered, inspired, or intimidated. The more people watching the bigger the damaged that is caused. Two, there is a reason such a production is put on, they want people to know why they do what they do, that there is an ultimate goal in which they seek whether it is political, religious, or ideological. They also as Perl (1997) agrees, “believe the public "needs help" in understanding that their cause is just and terrorist violence is the only course of action available to them against the superior evil forces of state and establishment.” Third, they want specific groups of people who may have similar beliefs to respect and admire them for what th...

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Nacos, B. L. (2007). Mass-mediated terrorism: the central role of the media in terrorism and counterterrorism (2nd ed.). Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield.

Perl, R. F. (1997, October 22). CRS: Terrorism, the Media, and the Government. Congressional Research Report Services. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from http://fas.org/irp/crs/crs-terror.htm

Weimann, G. (2008, September). The Psychology Of Mass-Mediated Terrorism. American Behavioral Scientist, 52, 69-86. Retrieved from Sage Journals database.
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