Terrorism is one of the social stigmas of the modern world. The rise of violent actions peculiar to the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century is associated with the instability in various regions and the clash of different states’ interests. However, there is an idea that media serves as one of the forces impacting the further evolution of terrorists’ agenda by attracting attention to the cruelest actions and contributing to the spread of some ideas characterized by extreme radicalism and the attempts to alter attitudes to particular issues. In such a way, media serves as the platform that helps to popularize the ideas of various terrorist organizations by familiarizing people with them.
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For instance, the November 2015 Paris attacks became an act of coordinated violence that resulted in chaos and 130 deaths. Media played a critical role in describing this event and attracting people’s attention to it. On one hand, it contributed to people’s increased awareness about the given problem and informed them about the current state of the problem (Bruns & Hanusch, 2017). However, from another one, specialists analyzing the event state that suicide bombers and other terrorists were sure that a public response would be triggered due to the media’s interest in describing events of this sort (Bruns & Hanusch, 2017). In other words, modern TV, social networks, and newspapers can be considered a factor related to these acts of terror.
Another case proving the media’s role in the spread of terrorism is the conflict in Mumbai, November 2008. A series of 12 well-organized incidents during four days in the city preconditioned the death of 174 people, and severe injuries (Iqbal, 2014). Speaking about this very incident, the media can also be taken as one of the actors that promoted the spread of panic and increased the level of attention to the given event, which was one of the main targets of attackers (Iqbal, 2014). Considering the fact that any terrorist organization wants to popularize its ideas, existing means of media become a perfect way to communicate with society and promote the further spread of ideas.
Finally, speaking about ISIS, as one of the most powerful and dangerous terrorist organizations of the modern age, the contribution of media to the rise of its popularity cannot be disregarded. Multiple violent acts, homicides, and attempts to control various states attract newsmakers and serve as the main factor guaranteeing the high level of interest in numerous articles or media stories (Yarchi, 2019). However, while writing about ISIS, its ideology, and its purposes, even trying to emphasize the negative and unacceptable nature of its organization, newspapers contribute to the further spread of its influence.
In such a way, from these three case studies, one can see that media serves as one of the forces promoting the further spread of terrorism. Being not able to ignore multiple acts of aggression, it serves as the platform used by attackers to express their ideas and familiarize the world with their intentions.
Bruns, A., & Hanusch, F. (2017). Conflict imagery in a connective environment: audiovisual content on Twitter following the 2015/2016 terror attacks in Paris and Brussels. Media, Culture & Society, 39(8), 1122–1141. Web.
Iqbal, M. (2014). The media–terrorism symbiosis: a case study of Mumbai attacks, 2008. Asian Journal of Communication, 25(2), 197-212. Web.
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Yarchi, M. (2019). ISIS’s media strategy as image warfare: Strategic messaging over time and across platforms. Communication and the Public, 4(1), 53–67. Web.