Excessive portrayal of terrorist activity in the media
Nature: Terrorists have found a most invaluable ally in the press, which often acts as though it was held hostage itself, by being manipulated by the terrorists' overall strategy to bring down the rule of the law and sap the core of free societies.
Claim: Today's terrorists do not kill or plant bombs to weaken the spirit of those groups most directly attacked by them, but rather carry out their outrages to secure big headlines in newspapers, and radio and television coverage, thus creating a spiralling multiplication effect for their terror. It may even be ascertained that they murder in order to be featured on a particular high-rated television current affairs programme or in a particular large selling journal. Journalists are puppets in the hands of those lunatics out to destroy press freedom and all other types of freedom. Converted into spokesmen of terror, they sometimes seem to be aiding the terrorists against their will and despite themselves.
Counter Claim: Journalists are not manipulated against their own will, they allow themselves to be manipulated. By maintaining definitive, unified stances, they could play an active role in undermining much of a terrorist's strategy. Possible tactics include stony silence on the part of the press; biased coverage not assisting terrorist designs; strictly neutral coverage without sensationalism; and/or an aggressive strike treatment which could include destroying terror's public image and prestige; demolishing the terrorists' ideological alibis; standing up to the terrorists; and diminishing the intensity of their message.
Problem Type: E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update 01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET