Terrorism and the Media
Terrorism and the Media DSC 4012
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kamila Timaul on Monday September 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to DSC 4012 at Florida Atlantic University taught by in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Terrorism in Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University.
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Date Created: 09/19/16
Terrorism and Homeland Security Terrorism and the Media CHAPTER 4 The New Media Environment, Part 1 • Defining the New Media • The mass media of newspapers, radio, and television could be defined as mass communication. The new methods of interaction also involve communication, but it allows selective connections among communities. • New media refers to any virtual network where communication takes place. It includes blogs, multiple Internet postings, and any social network. The New Media Environment • Terrorists quick to understand power of the new media • Other factors influenced the growth and impact of the new media: – The price of network devices dropped. – Improved digital technology increased the quality and quantity of communications. – Devices became smaller and more powerful. – Increased bandwidth increased the ability of servers to process traffic. – Communications revolution created a host of virtual communities. • Twitter is particularly powerful. Legitimizes messages because it brings the perception of authenticity, and it is socially accepted. Characteristics of the New Media • The old media is controlled by small groups of elite stakeholders who distribute selective information to targeted audiences. It transmits one version of a story to many people, and while elites may interact with the sources of a narrative, the audience can only consume the information. • Consumers cannot collaborate or participate in developing a story. • None of the characteristics of the new media apply to the old. Other Aspects of the Internet • Steganography (embedding hidden information in a picture, message, or another piece of information) is one of the Internet’s greatest vulnerabilities. • Internet allows terrorist groups to present messages and images would not appear in mainstream media. • The Internet can also be used for recruitment and training. • The Internet is also used in target selection and reconnaissance. • Maps, satellite imagery, and diagrams provide ready-made intelligence sources. Trends in Research • Meanings are socially created, and Ross demonstrates that reporting is part of the social construction of terrorism. • Terrorists are aware of the power of the media and seek to manipulate their message through it. • While the media enhances the power of terrorism, it does not cause it. • Terrorists will increasingly use the Internet to communicate as the relationship between the media and terrorism grows stronger in the future. Findings on Twitter • The main purpose of terror media is to generate propaganda. • Frequency distributions of types of tweets revealed common categories from Syrian jihadists. • Klausen found that tweets centered around religious indoctrination, battle reports, interpersonal communication, everyday life, and delivering threats to the West. • Religion dominated written communication with four out of five tweets focusing on religious dogma. Gender Stereotypes • Television tends to portray women as minor figures in the male-dominated occupation. • Nacos presents several images created by television news frames: – Physical appearance frame – Family connection frame – Terrorist for the sake of love – Women's lib frame – Women as bored, frustrated housewives News Frames Reporting patterns are packaged in segments called news frames. – Purpose is to assemble words and pictures to create a pattern surrounding an event. – Creates a narrative for a deadly drama – Characters are introduced, heroes and villains are defined, and victims become the suffering innocents. News Frames News frames help “mediatize” the presentation of terrorism. – Media shapes the way an event is communicated. News frames are one of the least understood aspects of broadcast journalism because their complexity goes unnoticed. Types of Frames • Reporting frame • Dominant frame • Conflict frame • Contention frame • Investigative frame • Mythic frame • Campaigning frame • Reportage frame • Community service frame • Collective interest frame • Cultural recognition frames • Mythic tales frames Ambiguous Stories and News Frames • News frames give the story a structured meaning, but sometimes a story defies structure. • The news frame works when a report is based on sources with definitive explanations of an event. • Ambiguity destroys the ability to create a sustainable news frame. • Terrorism is reported in well-defined news frames, the media and consumer assumes a political beginning, a violent process, and a logical end. • If there is ambiguity, there is no logical conclusion. Beating the Wrong Drum • Focus is improperly centered on military and law enforcement action overseas. • Media has virtually ignored domestic security issues. • Nacos’s study – American news media did not believe there was a need to focus on domestic security. – Televisions’ preference for sensational events Infotainment Telesector • Barber calls the twenty-four-hour news networks the infotainment telesector. – Media flourishes on one overriding factor: entertainment. • The infotainment telesector is not geared for depth; it is designed to create revenue. • Negative effect on homeland security Television Drama • Control of the drama pattern was held in a Western monopoly until recently. – Al Manar television presented a sympathetic view of the al Asqa uprising. • Television makes the viewing audience participants in a terrorist attack. • Television seeks drama, and terrorism provides an unfolding dramatic event. As Sahaab versus al Hurra • Al Qaeda’s underground video network, known as As Sahaab, wages an effective propaganda campaign using the Internet. • In response, the U.S. launched al Hurra, an Arabic-language 24 hour satellite station. – Results have been disappointing. – United States has yet to capitalize on the Internet for spreading propaganda. Media Bias? • Most mainstream media claim objectivity when presenting information about terrorism. • All news comes with a slant, and reporters are expected to create news frames reflecting their outlet’s orientation. – At one end of the spectrum critics claim the media have a liberal bias. – Others claim that the media have been taken over by conservatives. Olympic Park Bombing • Consider what could be considered as “trial by media” in regard to Richard Jewell – hero – suspect – innocent. Richard Jewell Media as a Business • A news organization, a profit-making entity, has the incentive to attract the largest possible audience. • Journalism is a profession. • As news organizations expand, there will be pressures for bias to develop special audiences among liberals and conservatives. • News organizations are increasingly led by boards and groups of owners driven by the desire to make money. Censorship Paul Wilkinson (1997) believes that governments face three choices when it comes to maintaining freedom of the press and combating terrorism: – Laissez-faire attitude – Censorship – Media self-regulation Censorship Debate Democracy is threatened when the government openly censors information. – Censorship could do more to damage freedom than the terrorist attacks themselves. Others believe that in times of emergency, information must be controlled to ensure the survival of the state. – America was fighting a new type of war and some form of censorship was required. Chapter Summary • The new media environment refers to instantaneous communication through a variety of platforms. It includes social networks, web pages, e-zines, chat rooms, blogs, and similar forms of communication. • The new media allow for vicarious participation in an event, opportunities for reframing narratives, and the ability for mass communication. • An exponential expansion of the Internet has been the basis of the new media environment. Its power is multiplied because devices are available, powerful, and costs have been reduced. Chapter Summary • This means that there is extensive competition for presenting a point of view and a news frame, and it leads to charges of biases from all sides. • This is especially true in television because terrorism is a made-for-television drama. • Some scholars have called for limited censorship because the media is so powerful.
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