Chapter 7: Diffusing Media Attention
7. Diﬀusing Media Attention TERRORISM AND THE MEDIA Extensive Coverage Our discussion has so far focused on anti-terrorism policies over the medium and long term. The proposals to decentralise society and to raise education and income require considerable time to implement and are not quick to bear fruit. To oﬀer positive incentives to terrorists by intensifying social contacts and integration is more of a proposal for the medium term than one to be applied immediately. This chapter proposes an anti-terrorist policy that is relevant once a terrorist attack has taken place. It is especially directed at major and spectacular events, such as the kidnapping of famous persons. Spectacular terrorist incidents are closely linked to media coverage, in particular television. The proposal therefore seeks to reduce terrorist violence by inﬂuencing media reporting. But the proposal suggests a rather unconventional procedure for reaching this goal. The relationship between terrorists and the media has received considerable attention in the literature. It can be described as ‘symbiotic’, with the interests of the terrorists being in one respect similar, or even identical, to those of the media. Both want to make news, and both want to keep the incident in the headlines for as long as possible. Some authors have gone so far as to claim that there would be no terrorism without the media. Think about these statements: ● ● If the media were not there to report terrorist acts and to explain their political and social signiﬁcance (the motives inspiring them...
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