Terrorism and Media

The reporting of terrorism provides one of the biggest challenges for the mass media in democracies. Terrorism is defined as the use of violence in order to promote a political cause. The media have an obligation to report on politics as well as violent events, but reporting on terrorist acts does more than just broadcast news about explosions, airline hijacking, and other violence. This reporting also gives publicity to the terrorist organizations and their aims. As a result, reporting on terrorism presents the mass media with a difficult dilemma. News organizations must balance their role as information providers with their function as gatekeepers of civil society and social order. At the same time, failing to examine the complex social and political causes of terrorism ...

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