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Terrorism and the Press class notes by Dr. Plexico
 

Terrorism and the Press class notes by Dr. Plexico

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Notes for Terrorism and the Press class taught by Dr. Alvin Plexico at Park University in Millington, TN. The notes are based on the book Terrorism and the Press: An Uneasy Relationship by Brooke ...

Notes for Terrorism and the Press class taught by Dr. Alvin Plexico at Park University in Millington, TN. The notes are based on the book Terrorism and the Press: An Uneasy Relationship by Brooke Barnett and Amy Reynolds (2008).

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  • Breaking news is the new vehicle to transport the terrorist message (p. 1). Five days of commercial-free live news following 9/11 90% of Americans followed news closely for six weeks following 9/11 Terrorism on 9/11 (p. 3): Wars in Afghanistan & Iraq Largest restructuring of the U.S. federal government since the creation of the Department of Defense after WWII Creation of the Department of Homeland Security Passage of legislation that impacts civil liberties
  • Latin from the word terrere, which means to frighten (p. 14) Three common elements (p. 15): The use of violence Political objectives Intention of sowing fear State Department (p. 15): “…premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine state agents…” International Encyclopedia of Terrorism (p. 15): “…the use of violence in order to bring about political change by inducing fear.” Department of Defense: the unlawful use of violence or threat of violence to instill fear and coerce governments or societies. Terrorism is often motivated by religious, political, or other ideological beliefs and committed in the pursuit of goals that are usually political (Joint Pub 3-07.2, Antiterrorism, 24 November 2010). American Heritage Dictionary: The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons. Media coverage often conforms to what the government calls terrorism (p. 5). Agenda setting is a mass communication theory that holds that the media do not tell you what to think, but they do tell you what to think about (p. 5). Framing is defined as a central organizing idea for news content that supplies context and suggests what the issue is through the use of selection, emphasis, exclusion, and elaboration (p. 5).
  • p. 20: Both conventional war and guerilla war are recognized as internationally legal if conducted under specified rules. p. 19: Unlike terrorism guerilla warfare as a strategy seeks to establish physical control of a territory.
  • Examples (p. 17) State versus state (war): World War I & II State versus citizen (top-down terrorism): Nazi Germany, Stalinist Soviet Union Citizen versus state (bottom-up terrorism): Irish Republican Army, Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka (near India), Citizen versus citizen (crime): Murder, robbery
  • p. 21: “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” A terrorist kills civilians. A fighter for freedom saves lives. p. 25: First-century Jewish Zealots incited an uprising against the Roman occupation of Judea (70 A.D.) p. 26: Contemporary analyses begins with the French Revolution in 1789 with the execution of King Louis XVI. That is where the term terrorism and its modern form emerged. Reign of Terror began with the Revolutionary Government in 1793 when the Committee of Public Safety of the National Convention was charged with uncovering and foiling conspiracies. The committee ordered the execution of thousands of people and officially adopted terror as a revolutionary policy. p. 28: Thirty Years’ War in Europe (1618-1648). Started as a religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics but gradually evolved into a general war and fused with a civil war raging in Germany. Germany’s population dropped by 50-60 percent during the Thirty Years’ War. p. 30: Vladimir Lenin lead the Bolshevik’s “Red Terror” 1917-1921 which included concentration camps, executions without trial, and hostage taking. p. 31: Media emerged as a relevant part of the study of terrorism in the 1960s.
  • p. 31 (Brigitte Nacos)
  • p. 31 & p. 61 (Brigitte Nacos)
  • (p. 35)
  • Agenda setting (pp. 50-52): the media are not very effective at telling people what to think, but they do influence what people think about. Framing (pp. 47-52): supplies context and suggests what the issue is through the use of selection, emphasis, exclusion, and elaboration. Select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient. Cultivation (pp. 52-54): common worldview, common roles, and common values. Medium is the message (most important effects of a medium come from form, not content). Did the U.S. government exaggerate claims that terrorism worsened after September 11? (statistically, there were fewer acts of terror and risk to average American was less after September 11, according to U.S. State Department). The public misperceived the statistical risk of terrorist acts, based on government assertions and media coverage.
  • pp. 37-47 Ideological: core assumptions about the distribution of power in society Extra-media: journalist’s sources, special interest groups, public relations, advertising, technology Organizational: how the news outlet is structured (editors, owners, & other authority influences) Routines: deadlines, selection of sources, journalism ethics & practices Individual: views, attitudes, training, background
  • BBC, Reuters, AP, Al Jazeera do not use the word terrorism in order to maintain objectivity. Latin from the word terrere, which means to frighten (p. 14)
  • p. 45 Interpretive focus on analyzing complex problems, discussing national policy, and investigating official claims. Disseminate information to the public quickly without editorial comment. Adversary challenge to business or government officials.
  • p. 54 Only by spreading the terror and outrage to a much larger audience can the terrorists gain the maximum potential leverage that they need to effect fundamental political change.
  • p. 61 & p. 62 Agenda building is a concept related to agenda setting that focuses on the process through which issues become prominent on the media agenda. Agenda building suggests that issues become salient through a manner that is mutually interdependent between policymakers and the news media. News media use at least 20 percent of White House news releases and rarely deviate from what official sources say.
  • pp. 63-64
  • p. 65 Propaganda originates with the Catholic Church during the Reformation. Congregatio de propaganda fide (Congregation for the Propagation of Faith). Established in 1622 to manage the church’s struggle against the growing use of science to better understand the world. Used during the Inquisition to convict Galileo of heresy in 1633. Propaganda Techniques in the World War (Harold Lasswell, 1927) – the control of opinion by significant symbols, or, to speak more concretely and less accurately, by stories, rumors, reports, pictures and other forms of social communication. Lasswell (1937) definition revised – propaganda in the broadest sense is the technique of influencing human action by the manipulation of representations. These representations may take spoken, written, pictorial or musical form. Dictionary: spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause Four main objectives (Laswell, 1927): Mobilize hatred, 2. Demoralize the enemy, 3. Preserve ally friendships, 4. Gain the cooperation of neutral parties
  • pp. 66-68 Propaganda devices: Name-calling – giving an idea a bad label to encourage people to reject and condemn the idea without examining the evidence. Q. Is calling someone a “terrorist” name-calling? (one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter) Glittering generality – associating an idea with a virtue word so that people will accept and approve without examining the evidence (Patriot Act, Freedom Fries) Transfer – connect an idea with something that people already like Testimonial – highly respected person speak about a subject Plain folks – speakers convince an audience that they are one of them Card Stacking – selection of arguments and evidence that support a position while ignoring contrary arguments and evidence Band Wagon – convincing people to follow the crowd (“everybody thinks this,” “the American people want, know, believe…”) * Institute for Propaganda Analysis published The Fine Art of Propaganda in 1939 to counter Father Charles E. Coughlin, 1939, a popular Catholic priest who broadcast his messages over a forty-seven radio station network. The Institute feared Coughlin could become an “American Hitler” because his shows presented a “fascist” philosophy and his magazine mirrored Nazi propaganda.
  • p. 67-68 New York Times article (April 20, 2008) alleges that Bush administration used name-calling, card stacking, and band wagon to gain support for Iraq war and the detention policies at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Views from a former Pentagon press officer responsible for helping coordinate the military analysts program. Proactive public affairs Accurate and timely information Principles of information (copy from DoD website)
  • pp. 69-70 Media access to information and embedded journalist access to combat operations. An informed citizenry is crucial to a functioning democratic government Responsibilities of those in power (government)? Responsibilities of the press (watchdog)? Responsibilities of the people (governed)? p. 71 release of detainee names under FOIA example (Midnight delivery to Washington Post, AP, Wall Street Journal) p. 74 The U.S. Army and Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual Effective media/public affairs operations are critical to successful military operations Media representatives should be embedded for as long as practicable Successful leaders engage the media, create positive relationships, and help the media tell the story Security should not be used as an excuse to create a media blackout Is embedding journalists propaganda, access, or both? Applicable laws: Administrative Powers Act of 1946, Freedom of Information Act of 1966, Homeland Security Act of 2002, Open Government Act of 2007
  • pp. 80-83 - 200 people died by jumping on the morning of 9/11/11 CNN showed blurred images of falling bodies NY Times ran one photo on page 7 and received criticism for “exploiting a man’s death” and “stripping him of his dignity” Drudge report posted photos of body and severed head of Paul Johnson who was a contractor killed in Iraq Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published less graphic photos along with a statement from the terrorist (Editor wrote, “demonstrate the brutality, the inhumanity, and the deadly danger…and.. The enemy’s mentality and the extent of the danger we face.” Video of WSJ reporter, Daniel Pearl, was posted online and other news organizations posted as well, “it depicts what happened, which is the most elemental definition of news.”
  • p. 85: Newhagen’s 1998 study showed the most memorable images in the following order: anger, fear & disgust. Once the novelty is gone, then compassion fatigue sets in. Emotion influences recall & pictures generally aid recall.
  • pp. 88-89 Similar to Iwo Jima photo from WWII Became a symbol of the attacks, often used under the headline of “God bless America” Used during President Bush’s speech at the National Cathedral Photo was left behind during a U.S. forces raid of a Taliban Headquarters in Afghanistan Presented by the NYC Fire Chief and U.S. Speaker of the House (Hastert) to crew of USS Theodore Roosevelt TR crew provided NYC Fire Chief with dust from one of bin Laden’s homes retrieved for U.S. Navy EOD
  • p. 89 (sociologist, William Gamson) Robert Entman, “to frame is to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communication text, in such as way as to promote a particular problem, definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment recommendation for the item described.” James Tankard defined a frame as “a central organizing idea for news content that supplies a context and suggests what the issue is through the use of selection, emphasis, exclusion, and elaboration.”
  • pp. 96-97 91% of those surveyed in October 2001 said television news was a useful source of information about the terrorist attacks. Television is the number one news source for people in the U.S. During the 9/11 attacks, those using Google to search for news were greeted with a screen that told them to turn to their televisions. Terrorism coverage increased 135% in the four years after 9/11 compared to the four preceding years.
  • p. 98 – next best thing to a firsthand perspective
  • p. 99 – Terrorism is heavily covered by the news media because it fits the basic definition of newsworthiness. 2001-2006: More than 4,300 national news stories related to terrorism, compared with 138 on poverty, 592 on education, and 724 on crime.
  • p. 100 Episodic reports outnumbered thematic reports by a ration of three to one. Terrorism is covered line an event, rather than an ongoing issue.
  • p. 101: predictable coverage started with murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Germany and continued with the hostage crises and bombings throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
  • p. 102 (Graber in Mass Media and American Politics).
  • pp. 106-107, April 19, 1995. Initial reports noted, “Two of the men involved, perhaps, are Middle Eastern men. One is twenty to twenty-five. The other is thirty-five to thirty-eight. Both with dark hard and a bear, and they were both wearing blue pants, black shirts, and coats. A brown Chevy pickup with tinted windows.” Timothy McVeigh, a white U.S. citizen who drove a rental moving truck to the scence, was later convicted and sentenced to death for the bombing. - Personal experience living in Oklahoma City at the time of the bombing.
  • p. 111 & 114 (Julia R. Fox, Glory Koloen, and Volkan Sahin, “No Joke” A comparison of Substance in the Daily Show with Jon Steward and Broadcast Network Televsion Coveage of the 2004 Presidential Election Campaign,” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media , 51, 2 (2007): 213. Agenda + Background + Credibility = Source
  • p. 115-116: avoid the danger of turning terrorism into theater and news into dramatic entertainment, otherwise media may serve as terrorist accomplice. p. 118: comparative analysis of 2003 Iraq war coverage between U.S. and Arabic news showed that Al Jazeer and U.S. networks, except Fox News, were balanced. In contrast, 38% of Fox News stories were supportive of the war in tone.
  • p. 120: Death of Princess Diana in 1997, the news from Iraq in 2003, and the Iraq invasion of Kuwait in 1990. One could argue that Iraq and Kuwait were not really about interest in foreign news, but rather an interest in a U.S. story that took place on foreign soil.
  • p. 133: U.S. 9/11 coverage emphasized fear and the end of normalcy. The U.S. media framed the attacks as an act of war that make military retaliation not only justified, but also necessary. British media coverage of 7/7 contained no mention of retaliation or military response. British media treated the inquiry into attacks as a criminal investigation. Very hesitant to sue the word “terrorism” instead using terms like “attackers” or “bombers.”
  • p. 136: American coverage’s lack of political context was alarming when considering what it was replaced with: oversimplification of terrorist goals, intense elements of patriotism and national pride, and perhaps most significantly, unwavering support for government. The American media, in a sense abandoned their role as a watchdog in the wake of September 11 attacks.
  • p. 139: New Yorker Magazine’s Sy Hersh broke the major story about mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Reflections from the duty press officer who got the calls Sunday afternoon when the story broke Lessons learned from a Pentagon Press officer who told media the dogs were never used during interrogations of detainees in GTMO. Assistant Secretary of Defense, Richard Perle, “Sy Hersh is the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist.”
  • p. 140: Christiane Amanpour, “It’s really a question of asking the questions. All of the entire body politic in my view, whether it’s the administration, the intelligence, the journalists, whoever, did not ask enough questions, for instance, about weapons of mass destruction.” Fox news spokeswoman, “given the choice, it’s better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda.” During a crisis, well-respected journalists are seen as aiding and abetting terrorism when they critically examine government officials and policies.
  • Each of these words were used to describe revolutionary fighters throughout history. p. 141: (Dr. Arial Merari, head of the Center for Political Violence at Tel Aviv University). When the term terrorism becomes synonymous for generally negative behavior, its usefulness is only in propaganda. If you disagree with the government’s response to terrorism, they you are with the terrorists. 90% of the public concur with the statement, “I am very patriotic” (Pew Research, 2007). University of Chicago study found that Americans are the most patriotic citizens in the world. Anarchists and socialists often wrote about how patriotism was a tool of oppression, “Go and do your own killing. We have done it long enough for you” (Emma Goldman, 1969). “ In a time of war the nation is always of one mind, eager to hear something good of themselves and ill of the enemy. At this time the task of the news-writer is easy; they have nothing to do but to tell that a battle is expected, and afterwards that a battle has been fought, in which we and our friends, whether conquering or conquered, did all, and our enemies did nothing” (Samuel Johnson, 1758). “ You are with us, or you are with the terrorists…the implication was that real Americans rally around their government and traitor raise critical questions. This poses an obvious problem for journalist, who get paid to raise questions” (Robert Jensen, 2002, in Newsday). [may not agree with the implication. Taken in context the President was referring to those who harbor terrorists in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere]
  • What is meant by individuals who say they are patriotic? What do you think of someone who displays this license plate? p. 143 “Was it possible to understand American patriotism as dissent and freedom of speech, values enshrined in the mythology of US journalism? ” (Silvio Waisbord, 2002).
  • p. 143: “I think the great challenge for the American Press has been to figure out how to cover this (war) in a way that doesn’t compromise their journalistic duties but is consistent with what some people view as their patriotic duty” (Tom Yellin, 2005). p. 144: During the post-Revolutionary War period in the U.S. the colonial press was a vigorous watchdog of the partisan political forces. Penny Press era (1830s-1870s) journalists exposed government corruption and scrutinizes government policy. p. 145: “Journalism has no more important service to perform than to ask touch, even unpopular question when our government wages war” (Russ Baker, 2002). p. 146: Pew poll in 2003, Media want to be loved more than believed? Two-fold pressure: State pressure (need access to government officials & do not want to appear unpatriotic) Corporate pressure (need to make a profit to stay in business) p. 146: Public paradox Pew survey in 1985 found a majority of Americans report that press criticism of political leaders does more good than harm. Partisanship plays a role, with people preferring the watchdog role when the president is not form their political party. Watchdog should only watch over the political enemy, not their favorite politician pp. 147-148: Pew poll of 2003 showed that 7 out of 10 Americans thought it good for coverage to have “ a strong pro-American point of view”; however, the same poll reported that a majority of viewers said they valued neutrality in the media. Public wants a critical press, but they find the press to be unpatriotic when they act critically.
  • Dictionary: (he- jem -uh-nee) leadership or predominant influence exercised by one nation over others, as in a confederation. p. 148: succcess of the dominant classes in presenting their own definition of reality (worldview) in such a way that it is accepted as common sense and anyone who presents an alternative view is marginalized. Hegemony allowed the rumor of two Middle Eastern men in a pickup truck as perpetrators of the Oklahoma City bombing continue on even after it was proven false.
  • p. 153 Use of headlines and graphics that said “America under Attack” combined to create early news frames that suggested that a military response to the attacks was justified and that America was unified after the attacks. p. 155 When terrorism hits home, the press also feel under attack by the terrorists and in turn become less critical and more assuring, because this is the patriotic thing to do. Polls show that this is what the majority of the public want and the press is in line with the majority view so it sees no problem with a nationalistic approach. p. 161 During conflict or crisis media are more likely to be afraid to dissent from majority ideas or to report dissention, in part, because they’re afraid to look unpatriotic. p. 162 Can journalists be loyal to this country while provoking spirited debate that might lead to dissension?
  • p. 157: Ted Koppel, “I don’t believe that I’m being a particularly patriotic American by slapping a little flag in my lapel.” Dan Rather, “I have no argument with anyone who does, but I don’t because it doesn’t feel right to me. I have the flag burned in my heart…I don’t feel the need to do it…I have absolutely no argument with anyone else who feels differently.” (Note: In 1954, Rather enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, but did not complete recruit training because of a childhood bout with rheumatic fever). p. 158: Audience does not seem to evaluate stories differently based on use of patriotic images. (Brook Barnett and Laura Roselle, “Patriotism in the News: Rally Round the Flag,” Electronic News, 2008).
  • p. 175: 72% of Americans were fine with the government withholding information from the media or the public and 68% thought that the media provided too much information about the U.S. Military actions.

Terrorism and the Press class notes by Dr. Plexico Terrorism and the Press class notes by Dr. Plexico Presentation Transcript

  • Terrorism and the Press by Brooke Barnett & Amy Reynolds
  • Introduction• What role do media play in terrorist activity?• How important is the media to spreading fear?• What is the symbiotic relationship between the media and terrorism?• What effect does terrorism have on national policy?
  • Chapter 1What is terrorism?
  • Define Terrorism• State Department, Department of Defense, Dictionary, other?• How do members of the media define or describe terrorism?• How does agenda setting fit into what media choose to cover as terrorism?• Describe how framing influences media coverage of terrorism.
  • Common Elements of Terrorism• Small units• Small weapons• Usually don’t wear uniforms• Targets are state symbols, political opponents, and the public at large• Not recognized as a legal act
  • Classifying Political Violence• State versus state (war)• State versus citizen (top-down terrorism)• Citizen versus state (bottom-up terrorism)• Citizen versus citizen (crime)
  • Causes of Terrorism• Usually fighting against some form of oppression (real or perceived) – Socioeconomic – Political – Religious• Historical context and examples
  • Modern Terrorist Have Four Media-Dependent Goals• Attention• Recognition• Respect• Status
  • Triangle of Political Communication GovernmentPublic Media
  • Chapter 2The News Media & Terrorism “Terrorism is capable of writing any drama – no matter how horrible – to compel the media’s attention…” Abraham Miller, political scientist, 1982
  • Media’s role in terrorist acts• The press is an important vehicle through which people learn about and come to understand terrorism, its causes, and how governments respond.• How have media become central to terrorist movements?• Describe how terrorists and the media are in a quasi-symbiotic relationship.
  • Mass Communication Theory• Agenda Setting – media tell us what to think about• Cultivation – media create a stronger fear of terrorism• Framing – context, emphasis, exclusion, elaboration
  • Hierarchy of influences• Ideological - power distribution• Extra-media - outside sources• Organizational - structure• Routines - deadlines• Individual - viewpoints
  • Do you agree?“No medium has provided more oxygen to terrorism than television.”“By devoting extraordinary broadcast time and column inches to even minor violence and elevating it to the level of spectacular reality show, the mass media, especially television, play into the hands of terrorists.”Source: Brigette Nacos
  • What’s in a word?Terrorism
  • Journalist’s Role in Reporting the News• Interpret• Disseminate• Challenge
  • Relationship between media and terrorism•Symbiotic•Paradoxical
  • Chapter 3News media and government
  • Media’s influence• Little evidence that media change people’s opinions• Media can influence how people perceive information• Media can help set public agenda• Terrorism is a strategy aimed at forcing political change
  • Power of the Press & the President• What are some examples of heightened public support of the Commander-in-Chief following a terrorist attack (rally around the flag effect)?• How does the 24 hour news cycle affect policy makers?• How do policy makers affect the 24 hours news cycle?• Discuss a recent example where live and continuous news coverage of foreign affairs influenced public policy.
  • Public Information or Propaganda?• Origins• Definitions• Objectives• Devices
  • Propaganda Devices• Name-calling• Glittering generality• Transfer• Testimonial• Plain folks• Card Stacking• Band Wagon
  • Pentagon’s Hidden Hand?
  • Pentagon’s Hidden Hand?• Propaganda or public information?• Military analysts served as “talking heads”• Purpose of talking points & conference calls• Symbiotic relationship between government and media• Differing viewpoints based on New York Times reporter’s perspective and those of a former Pentagon press officer
  • Access to Information• Who is responsible for an informed citizenry? • Those in power (government)? • The people (governed)? • The press (watchdog)?• What access should media have?
  • Chapter 4 Image“Photographs have the kind ofauthority over imagination today,which the printed word hadyesterday, and the spoken wordbefore that. They seem utterlyreal.” – Walter Lippman, 1922
  • Cognitive & Emotional Implications• What comes to mind when you view these images?• How do these images make you feel?
  • What images should be shown?• People jumping from the Twin Towers?• Body and severed head of U.S. contractor killed in Iraq?• Video showing the execution of Wall Street Journal reporter in Afghanistan?• American soldiers dragged through the streets of Somalia?• Flag-draped caskets coming home from war?
  • What impact do images have?• Describe how images could have an agenda- setting effect on viewers.• How could images affect the information that journalists intend to convey?• Could news stories be more effective if compelling images were shown first followed by relevant facts?• How do threatening images in terrorism coverage influence the public?
  • Frame Analysis• Process that • Interaction alerts us to an between issue audience and• Selection of image to images to assign accompany meaning text
  • Images play a key role in the media coverage of terrorism• Influence memory and perception• Help make issues seem real• Are easy and efficient way to draw a reader (or viewer) into a story“Showing the awful truth is as important as writing about it.”
  • Chapter 5 Television and Terrorism“The satellite will distribute terrorist paranoia around the world in living color to match each acceleratingly disruptive event.” – Marshall McLuhan and Bruce Powers, The Global Village, 1989
  • Television• Instills fear more than any other medium• Medium of choice for terrorist• Terrorist plan their attacks based on TV coverage• People turn first to TV following a terrorist attack
  • Television employs• Immediacy• Intimacy• Imagery
  • Newsworthiness• Significant• Timely• Novel
  • 24-hour News• Around-the-clock coverage and live reports mean that we can get more information but not necessarily better information.• Little to no historical, economic, or social context.• Episodic vs. thematic reports.
  • Pattern of News Coverage about Terrorist Attack• The attack itself including number of casualties• Interviews with elite sources speculating about U.S. response• Emotional interviews with family members of attack victims
  • Stages of Crisis Coverage• Stage One: disaster is announced including unconfirmed reports• Stage Two: perspective and correction of errors• Stage Three: larger perspective and coping with aftermath
  • Significance of Breaking News• Tight deadlines• Absence of hard information (facts)• Unconfirmed information and rumors
  • Journalist Role during a Terrorist Attack Oklahoma 9/11 London India Train City Bombing Attacks Bombing AttacksTraditional 96.75% 78% 73.53% 73.41%JournalistEyewitness 0.94% 18.52% 8.54% 10.71%Expert 0.85% 2.23% 15.81% 7.49%Social 1.46% 1.15% 2.07% 2.24%commentatorOther 0 0.10% 0.05% 1.05%
  • Sources of Information Changing• In 1972, 46% of college-age Americans read a newspaper everyday. Less than 29% today.• People find their information from nontraditional sources (talk shows, entertainment news magazines, comedy news shows).• Fake news shows were shown to be just as substantive as network television coverage.
  • Chapter 6 Media Coverage of Terrorism at Home and Abroad“The journalists were people living in their own country that had been attacked and there was not enough questioning (about Iraq).” – Christiane Amanpour, 2007
  • Journalists are people too• Need to be critical, cynical, and challenging• Often are defensive, nationalistic, and afraid• Affected by their own culture, proximity to the event, and audience expectations
  • Modern Media Coverage• British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) policy emphasizes that “accuracy is more important than speed” contrasted with U.S. practice of “first to bring you the news.”• Internal struggle between journalists’ responsibilities to enlighten fellow citizens and business responsibilities to increase profits.• Hard news vs. soft news• The rise of infotainment & 24 hour news
  • International News Coverage• 70-80 percent reduction in U.S. news coverage of foreign events in the past two decades.• When U.S. media does cover world events, it focuses on terrorism, war, and natural disasters.• Between 1986-2006, only three years showed foreign news stories receiving top interest.
  • British 7/7 vs. U.S. 9/11 Media Coverage• U.S. coverage focused on fear.• British coverage emphasized calm.• U.S. media were less critical and less analytical about government responses.• Differences due to: – Media’s role in society – Culture – Historical values – Proximity to terrorist act
  • Did U.S. mediaabandon their role as watchdog in the wake ofSeptember 11 attacks?
  • Chapter 7The Challenge of Patriotism “To announce that there must be no criticism of the President or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, it is morally treasonable to the American public.” – Theodore Roosevelt.
  • Abu GhraibWas it right or wrong forU.S. media to publishthese photos? Is it unpatriotic to report news that may hurt the war effort?
  • What were the mediaresponsibilities leading up to the War in Iraq?
  • What’s in a word?• Patriot• Terrorist• Traitor
  • License Plate
  • Watchdog Role of the Press• Fourth estate• Patriotic duty as theoverseer of government• Public paradox
  • Hegemony• Journalists’ guidelines and routines are informed by the dominant ideology• Journalists tend to cover and frame topics in ways that support the status quo• U.S. journalists present a pro-American perspective when covering international news
  • Patriotic JournalismDangerous if it does not – provide the public with objective and detached information people need to make sound decisions – include diverse sources with different viewpointsCan journalists be loyal to their country while provokingspirited debate that might lead to dissension?
  • Does a lapel pin affect the media’s message?
  • Chapter 8 Lessons Learned“The role of a free press is to be the people’s eyes and ears, providing not just information but access, insight and, most importantly, context.” – The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart
  • Final Thoughts• Balance free and responsible press with national security• Journalistic bias, like terrorism, is in the eye of the beholder.• Audiences expect evidence and analysis, not just stenography, to help make sense of the news and to investigate official statements.• Journalism ought to make it as easy as possible for citizens to make intelligent decisions about public affairs.• Democracy not only protects a free press, it demands a public-minded press and an engaged citizenry, willing to join the debate in civic affairs.
  • News media is the primary vehicle through which a significantnumber of people learn about and come to understand terrorism.