Communication between government and the media during a crisis has often been described as a love-hate relationship. The idea that publicity is the oxygen of terrorist groups raises the question of how much terrorists influence media coverage. It has also been stated that the media and terrorists have a symbiotic relationship; they mutually depend on each other and the terrorists manipulate the media to further their propaganda war. The constant repetition of the videos of the airliners striking the twin towers is cited as an example of the freedom of the press advancing the cause of terrorists. It led to a movement to prohibit showing of the videos by some. Are the criticisms valid? Is the media a tool of terrorists?
Please provide a follow up response to the following 2 responses. The responses are to the topic mentioned above.
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I most definitely agree with the very first line being that the communication between the government and the media during a crisis is a love-hate relationship. The media will be there to put out the information you need to get out to people as fast as you need to, but at the same time will put out any and all information they can get their hands on, even the information the government wish were suppressed at a time of crisis.
A terrorist group commits acts of violence [in order] to Produce widespread fear [and to] obtain worldwide, national, or local recognition for their cause by attracting the attention of the media (Terrorism Research, n.d.). Based upon this information which is corroborated by numerous other sources, I would say it is safe to say that the media is most definitely a tool of the terrorists.
The other question brings up a more humane type of thinking. The question was are the criticisms valid. I feel yes. Media is the for the most part the oxygen to terrorist organizations. It is what helps give them credibility, notoriety, and spread their message. Which brings up a problem in human thinking or psychology. The example stated of the constant repetition of the videos of the airliners striking the twin towers. My question is; why does the media feel the need to constantly show this horrific footage? Its the same reason the media highlights more negative reports going on throughout the country than it does positive, and thats because we as humans are more attracted to what is called sensational news. Things that are bad or horrific are for some reason more enticing to watch on the news than the fact that a 14 year old teenager earned valedictorian and or his high school and simultaneously is graduating college with a bachelors degree.
The terrorists know Americans especially feed off of this sensational news reporting and if they commit horrific acts, it will most surely be reported in the west, and their message will spread ultimately achieving their goals. I do agree that the criticisms are valid and that the media can absolutely be a tool of the terrorists. Does that mean our media are agents of those organizations, absolutely not. By merely doing their jobs however, they can be.
Now more than ever terrorist definitely influence the media by promoting their movements through the internet and social media sites and use it as a tool. The CIA states we are at war with ISIS that has grown faster and poses threats in the widest array targeting individuals by using social media forums to radicalize and recruit than any other terrorist organization (Morell, 2015, para. 2). Sophistication is the forefront and the groups use of multilingual propaganda called al-Hayat enables them to use Go Pros, and cameras mounted on drones to appeal to followers they target on social media platforms (Morell, 2015, para. 3). The group has a lot strength that poses significant threats to the U.S. First, it is a threat to the stability of the entire Middle East thus putting the integrity of Iraq and Syria at risk, and effecting U.S. national interest with these regions (Morell, 2015, para. 4). The ISIS has taken more territory than any other terrorist organization in such a short amount of time (Morell, 2015, para.6). Second, the ISIS has around 20,000 foreign nationals from over 90 counties fighting for its cause and they all have easy access to the U.S., which means they could attack the U.S. on their own, or follow orders by the ISISs leadership to conduct an attack (Morell, 2015. Para. 8). The group is building a following among other extremists around the world and they will inherit their brutality and target enemies of the ISIS to include the U.S. (Morell, 2015, para. 9). Last, the group calls to recruit young men and women to carry out acts in the U.S. on behalf of the ISIS to demonstrate their solidarity (Morell, 2015, para. 9). The sophisticated use of social media allows this organization to reach out to U.S. based extremist that advocate and aid in potential U.S. attacks.