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ERIC Number: ED312694
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Journalist's Role in Coverage of Terrorist Events.
Picard, Robert G.
Journalists have typically employed four rhetorical traditions--information, sensationalism, feature story, and the didactic approach--in conveying news; these affect the meaning received by audiences. Journalists play a variety of roles in this persuasive atmosphere and are deeply involved in the construction of rhetorical visions about terrorism and its perpetrators. Journalists amplify, arbitrate, and create their own rhetoric about terrorist acts. In the role of rhetorical amplifiers, journalists gain the attention of audiences and convey messages about political violence by providing the platform and amplification system by which this can be accomplished. As arbitrators of rhetoric, journalists have limited success. Evidence of arbitration is seen in comparisons between how media personnel describe terrorist events and their perpetrators and how government officials make similar descriptions. Journalists serve as creators of rhetoric whenever they report terrorist events. The rhetorical tradition employed determines the nature of that rhetoric. The role of formats, the presentation conventions that are used to package information and determine the significance and the information that news packages carry, are also important. The effects of these roles are beginning to receive appropriate scrutiny. Journalists must be made sensitive to the power of what they report, but when dealing with the volatile area of reporting on terrorism, they must be especially sensitive to how they report the news as well. (One figure and 26 references are attached.) (MG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A