Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Is media coverage of terrorist activities responsible for spreading terror?

*NOTE* - I do not agree 100% with this analysis; however, I thought that his perspective was interesting enough to share. There is no doubt that the media coverage of terrorists unintentionally glorifies them or turns them into heroes for disenchanted, disenfranchised youth.

It is similiar to Latino and African-American youth in America, who idolize the "gangsta" culture within Hip-Hop or admire the likes of the cult figure Tony Montana from the movie "Scarface."

How do you think kids in rural areas began to wear their pants hanging off of their behinds and claim to be "Bloods" and "Crips" when no "Bloods" or "Crips" ever came to their towns?

http://allafrica.com/stories/200707310258.html

Accra Mail (Accra)

OPINION
30 July 2007
Posted to the web 31 July 2007

Abdulhadi Hairan
Accra

All of us are aware of the importance of media in prevailing political and geographical situations and know also about the day-to-day events of terror across the world.

By nature, the human being inspires from the events taking place around him and if these events are linked to his or her religious thoughts and ideas then the effects of such events would be more deep and effectual.

There is no doubt that the media is giving more importance to incidents of terrorism and extremism taking place in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the rest of the world.

In the last few years, major incidents of terror took place in which thousands of people were killed or wounded but there's neem no let up in place terrorist activities. The major reason behind the no letting up in terror activities in the region is the widespread coverage of terrorists and their activities.

It is indeed a matter of great concern that underage boys are often used in carrying out suicide attacks. When they watch or hear militants on TV screens being interviewed by electronic and print media, the youth get inspiration from their activities. In addition, inflammatory statements of extremist clerics further fuel their intentions to take part in terrorism thinking as if it is a job of heroism.

Nowadays, all TV channels and newspapers are flooded with the news of suicide attacks and bomb blasts across the world. The most harmful thing is the coverage of such incidents by international and local media. They pose a serious threat to the overall economic and political situation of the countries affected by terrorism and extremism:

1) The excessive coverage of terror acts encourages terrorists and they get attention.

2) Fanatic elements and low age youth get inspiration from these happenings.

3) Common people feel insecurity and remain in constant fear.

4) Threat of more terror activities would increase.

The more excessive the media give coverage to the terrorists and their activities, the more they will become famous and active.

If the media gives coverage to healthy activities and other key political issues concerning scientists, intellectuals, players, artists, inventions, reconstruction, education and other positive things, it would be in the larger interests of every one as it would divert the attention of the youth from terrorism to constructive activities. This will help in creating healthy societies.

For example, there are NATO, Coalition Forces and armies of Afghanistan and Pakistan who have been fighting against terrorism for nearly seven years in Afghanistan and Iraq, but the Taliban and Al-Qaeda have got more strength and terrorism is growing every passing day. It is because the media is giving extraordinary coverage to their activities and thus helping them to be popular and reorganized. This is a negative aspect of the media coverage.

On the contrary, when Gen. Musharraf suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chohadry, lawyers launched a historical movement until the Supreme Court reinstated the CJ. Lawyers won this war by their firm stand and excessive media coverage. This was a war between democracy and dictatorship and democracy won it. This is a positive aspect of media coverage.

If media give coverage to healthy activities, it will create a healthy society, and, if the media will give coverage to terrorist activities, it will help the terrorists to grow their activities and it will bring the society nothing but more terrorism, extremism, violence, fear, uncertainty and insecurity.

I think media persons are a responsible community of the global society who should immediately recognize this fact and stop coverage of terrorist and extremist activities. Ignore them for only one year, I assure you, 90 percent of them will die!

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