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Chapter 4 
Babette Protz 
University of 
South 
Carolina 
Lancaster 
TERRORISM AND THE 
MEDIA
LEARNING OBJECTIVES: CHAPTER 4 
 Discuss the role of the media in constructing social 
reality. 
 Explain the tension be...
LEARNING OBJECTIVES: CHAPTER 4 
 Explain how the Internet has impacted terrorism. 
 Summarize various positions about bi...
PASSING OF STORIES 
 This is the way human beings share stories; it is not 
merely the product of entertaining fiction. 
...
PASSING OF STORIES 
 http://www.youtube.com/watch? 
v=gcdnf0Ckxmc&feature=related 
 United 93 (2006) hijacking ending sc...
PASSING OF STORIES 
Discussion: 
 Considering there were no survivors from the crash of United 
93, a lot of creative lic...
MEDIA MISCONCEPTIONS 
 Media’s presentation of terrorism is dominated by 
several simplified stories, presented on 24 hou...
MEDIA OF TERRORISM 
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5Xrob_IBy0 
Discussion: 
 What were your thoughts on this video cli...
MEDIA AND SECURITY FORCES 
 Media social constructions often run counter to 
governmental objectives and policies 
 Poli...
MEDIA AS A WEAPON 
 Terrorists recognize the power of the media as a 
weapon 
 Ayman al Zawahiri 
 Jihadists are keenly...
NEWS FRAMES 
 Reporting patterns are packaged in segments called 
news frames 
 Purpose is to assemble words and picture...
NEWS FRAMES 
 News frames help “mediatize” the presentation of 
terrorism 
 Media shapes the way an event is communicate...
TYPES OF FRAMES 
Reporting frame 
Dominant frame 
Conflict frame 
Contention frame 
Investigative frame 
Mythic fram...
BEATING THE WAR DRUM 
 American television presented only one news frame 
after 9/11 
 Patterning the attack as a clash ...
OLYMPIC PARK BOMBING MEDIA 
LEAKS 
 http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/ParkB 
Discussion Question: 
 The video addresses...
BEATING THE WRONG DRUM 
 Focus is improperly centered on military and law 
enforcement action overseas 
 Media has virtu...
INFOTAINMENT TELESECTOR 
 Barber calls the twenty-four-hour news networks the 
infotainment telesector 
 Media flourishe...
TELEVISION DRAMA 
 Control of the drama pattern was held in a Western 
monopoly until recently 
 Al Manar television pre...
GENDER STEREOTYPES 
 Television tends to portray women as minor figures 
in the male-dominated occupation 
 Nacos presen...
MEDIA OWNERSHIP 
 Edward Herman (1999) focuses on the social 
construction of reality and political bias 
 American medi...
MUNICH (MOVIE TRAILER) 
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7- 
WvfWXn7U&list=LPO8kMfXOdUFU&index=5&featur 
e=plcp 
 Discus...
STEREOTYPES 
 Large groups of people are portrayed without depth 
in American television 
 Media is spreading incorrect ...
INTERNET AND TERRORISM 
 Steganography 
 Embedding hidden information in a picture, message, or 
another piece of inform...
AS SAHAAB VERSUS AL HURRA 
 Al Qaeda’s underground video network, known as 
As Sahaab, wages an effective propaganda 
cam...
MEDIA OWNERSHIP 
 Tim Groseclose and Jeffrey Milyo (2005) stated that 
the American media has a liberal bias 
 Fouzi Sli...
MINITER’S MEDIA MYTHS 
 Miniter believes that all media serve as a source of 
disinformation 
 The primary reasons are s...
THE CONTAGION EFFECT 
 Some analysts wonder if media coverage inspires 
more terrorism 
 Many researcher believe that th...
CENSORSHIP 
 Paul Wilkinson (1997) believes that governments 
face three choices when it comes to maintaining 
freedom of...
CENSORSHIP DEBATE 
 Democracy is threatened when the government 
openly censors information 
 Censorship could do more t...
CHAPTER TAKE AWAYS 
 Television and other media shape the way we view 
terrorism. 
 This creates quite a bit of controve...
CHAPTER TAKE AWAYS 
 This means that there is extensive competition for 
presenting a point of view and a news frame, and...
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C04.8 terrorism and the media

  1. 1. Chapter 4 Babette Protz University of South Carolina Lancaster TERRORISM AND THE MEDIA
  2. 2. LEARNING OBJECTIVES: CHAPTER 4  Discuss the role of the media in constructing social reality.  Explain the tension between security forces and the media.  Describe how the media can be viewed as a weapon.  Explain how news frames are used present a story.  Describe the special relationship between terrorism and television. 2
  3. 3. LEARNING OBJECTIVES: CHAPTER 4  Explain how the Internet has impacted terrorism.  Summarize various positions about bias in the news media.  Define the contagion effect.  Debate the issues of freedom of the press and censorship. 3
  4. 4. PASSING OF STORIES  This is the way human beings share stories; it is not merely the product of entertaining fiction.  Consider the following videos. 4
  5. 5. PASSING OF STORIES  http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=gcdnf0Ckxmc&feature=related  United 93 (2006) hijacking ending scene  http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=bA_2teLmm1Q&feature=player_embedded  World Trade Center (Movie) - WTC collapse 5
  6. 6. PASSING OF STORIES Discussion:  Considering there were no survivors from the crash of United 93, a lot of creative license was taken to create the film. Do you view this film as a tribute or chance for financial gain?  The attack on and the collapse of the WTC were shown repeatedly for a number of days. This film, like the previous film dramatized the tragedy. Do you think the film should have been made?  How do the films clips change your view of terrorism? Support your position. 6
  7. 7. MEDIA MISCONCEPTIONS  Media’s presentation of terrorism is dominated by several simplified stories, presented on 24 hour cable news networks  Media exaggerates the threat of WMD  Media uses simple catchphrases to popularize a point  “Broken borders”  “War on terrorism” 7
  8. 8. MEDIA OF TERRORISM  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5Xrob_IBy0 Discussion:  What were your thoughts on this video clip? Do you see this as promoting one-sided thought or providing valuable information?  Could this be viewed as propaganda increasing fear of terrorism? Support your position. 8
  9. 9. MEDIA AND SECURITY FORCES  Media social constructions often run counter to governmental objectives and policies  Police and military perceive themselves to be the forceful extension of democracy  They think reporters are only trying to gather sensationalistic stories  Embedded reporters  Pentagon invited journalists to join combat units  The results were partially realized 9
  10. 10. MEDIA AS A WEAPON  Terrorists recognize the power of the media as a weapon  Ayman al Zawahiri  Jihadists are keenly aware of the media’s ability to influence the social construction of reality  They seek legitimacy for their movement  They want to spread their message and increase sympathy for their militant interpretation of religion  Their opponents are targeted for intimidation 10
  11. 11. NEWS FRAMES  Reporting patterns are packaged in segments called news frames  Purpose is to assemble words and pictures to create a pattern surrounding an event  Creates a narrative for a deadly drama  Characters are introduced, heroes and villains are defined, and victims become the suffering innocents 11
  12. 12. NEWS FRAMES  News frames help “mediatize” the presentation of terrorism  Media shapes the way an event is communicated  News frame is one of the least understood aspects of broadcast journalism because its complexity goes unnoticed 12
  13. 13. TYPES OF FRAMES Reporting frame Dominant frame Conflict frame Contention frame Investigative frame Mythic frame Campaigning frame Reportage frame Community service frame Collective interest frame Cultural recognition frames Mythic tales frames 13
  14. 14. BEATING THE WAR DRUM  American television presented only one news frame after 9/11  Patterning the attack as a clash of civilizations  Suggesting that only a military response would stop future attacks  Television called in a variety of terrorism experts who reflected the single view  Radio was even worse, engaging in sensationalistic propaganda 14
  15. 15. OLYMPIC PARK BOMBING MEDIA LEAKS  http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/ParkB Discussion Question:  The video addresses First Amendment rights in regard to rights of the media. Do you agree or disagree the media should have free reign over broadcasting information leaked to them on an ongoing investigation.  Consider what could be considered as “trial by media” in regard to Richard Jewell – hero – suspect – innocent. 15
  16. 16. BEATING THE WRONG DRUM  Focus is improperly centered on military and law enforcement action overseas  Media has virtually ignored domestic security issues  Nacos’s study  American news media did not believe there was a need to focus on domestic security  Televisions’ preference for sensational events 16
  17. 17. INFOTAINMENT TELESECTOR  Barber calls the twenty-four-hour news networks the infotainment telesector  Media flourishes on one overriding factor: entertainment  The infotainment telesector is not geared for depth; it is designed to create revenue  Negative effect on homeland security 17
  18. 18. TELEVISION DRAMA  Control of the drama pattern was held in a Western monopoly until recently  Al Manar television presented a sympathetic view of the al Asqa uprising  Television makes the viewing audience participants in a terrorist attack  Television seeks drama, and terrorism provides an unfolding dramatic event 18
  19. 19. GENDER STEREOTYPES  Television tends to portray women as minor figures in the male-dominated occupation  Nacos presents several images created by television news frames:  Physical appearance frame  Family connection frame  Terrorist for the sake of love  Women's lib frame  Women as bored, frustrated housewives 19
  20. 20. MEDIA OWNERSHIP  Edward Herman (1999) focuses on the social construction of reality and political bias  American media is part of a vast propaganda machine promoting values and goals of corporations  David Baron (2004) takes a different approach, suggesting that bias appears on two levels  Individual discretion of the reporter  Public’s desire for the most captivating story 20
  21. 21. MUNICH (MOVIE TRAILER)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7- WvfWXn7U&list=LPO8kMfXOdUFU&index=5&featur e=plcp  Discussion:  In the video it is noted that the media was broadcasting everything that was going on in real time – allowing the terrorists to watch police movements.  What are your thoughts in regard to this?  Does it surprise you that media was active in covering a terrorist attack in 1972?  Should the games have continued? 21
  22. 22. STEREOTYPES  Large groups of people are portrayed without depth in American television  Media is spreading incorrect information about terrorists  Richard Miniter (2005) identifies 22 misconceptions about terrorism accepted as truth by most newspapers, magazines, and broadcasters 22
  23. 23. INTERNET AND TERRORISM  Steganography  Embedding hidden information in a picture, message, or another piece of information  Message can be encrypted, placed in plain text in a hidden file, or sent on a covert channel  Recruiting and training  Salafi-jihadists using Web sites and e-mail to make training manuals available 23
  24. 24. AS SAHAAB VERSUS AL HURRA  Al Qaeda’s underground video network, known as As Sahaab, wages an effective propaganda campaign using the Internet  In response, the US launched al Hurra, an Arabic-language 24 hour satellite station  Results have been disappointing  United States has yet to capitalize on the Internet for spreading propaganda 24
  25. 25. MEDIA OWNERSHIP  Tim Groseclose and Jeffrey Milyo (2005) stated that the American media has a liberal bias  Fouzi Slisli (2000) says that the American media is full of oversimplifications and stereotypes 25
  26. 26. MINITER’S MEDIA MYTHS  Miniter believes that all media serve as a source of disinformation  The primary reasons are sloppy reporting, editors who fail to check facts, and rumors that are accepted as truth  Many of these media-based “truths” cannot stand the test of investigation 26
  27. 27. THE CONTAGION EFFECT  Some analysts wonder if media coverage inspires more terrorism  Many researcher believe that the fear generated by media reporting is contagious  Anthrax attack  Madrid commuter train bombing 27
  28. 28. CENSORSHIP  Paul Wilkinson (1997) believes that governments face three choices when it comes to maintaining freedom of the press and combating terrorism:  Laissez-faire attitude  Censorship  Media self regulation 28
  29. 29. CENSORSHIP DEBATE  Democracy is threatened when the government openly censors information  Censorship could do more to damage freedom than the terrorist attacks themselves  Others believe that in times of emergency, information must be controlled to ensure the survival of the state  America was fighting a new type of war and some form of censorship was required 29
  30. 30. CHAPTER TAKE AWAYS  Television and other media shape the way we view terrorism.  This creates quite a bit of controversy about the role of the media in reporting terrorism, and it frequently pits reporters against security forces.  All sides try to manipulate the media because of its extensive power. 30
  31. 31. CHAPTER TAKE AWAYS  This means that there is extensive competition for presenting a point of view and a news frame, and it leads to charges of biases from all sides.  This is especially true in television because terrorism is a made-for-television drama.  Some scholars have called for limited censorship because the media is so powerful. 31

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