ERIC Number: ED194938
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Mass Media Role in Terrorist Campaigns.
Moore, Tim; Clavier, David E.
Terrorists seek recognition for their cause by using violence to create public fear which will force the government into repressive counter-measures. The mass media play a vital role in this strategy. News reports of terrorism may magnify the climate of fear, thereby augmenting the public's overreaction. Moreover, broadcast of terrorist acts may enhance terrorism as a technique for social change. Experts call this the "contagion effect," when large amounts of terrorist publicity increase the frequency and intensity of similar terrorist acts. The recent Iran crisis indicates the media's unwillingness to reduce their emphasis on coverage of terrorism. Government control of media news content is an unacceptable alternative, but the media must accept responsibility for self-regulation or risk government censorship brought about by public panic at escalating terrorism. A balanced solution to the problems engendered by allowing terrorists access to the media includes greater cooperation between the media and law enforcement agencies, and more "proportioned" coverage of terrorist acts. Researchers may take an active role in defining approaches to terrorist coverage that will best minimize public fear while assuring that the public remains well informed. (Author/HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Response; Media Effects; Media Role; Terrorism
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (66th, New York, NY, November 13-16, 1980).