Jordan's Media Strategy and Its Role in Combating Terrorism: An Opinion Leaders' Perspective (Cases of Jordan TV and Roya TV)

Jordan's Media Strategy and Its Role in Combating Terrorism: An Opinion Leaders' Perspective (Cases of Jordan TV and Roya TV)

Hnai Al Badri (Middle East University, Jordan) and Hanan Al-Sheikh (Middle East University, Jordan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8048-5.ch003
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There is no doubt that media plays a key role in modern societies, as it has become the main source for the formation of collective awareness among citizens around the world. In light of the real vile war the Arab world has been witnessing against terrorism, media has become a major player in the confrontation. Today, the Arab world is facing terrorist and fanatic attacks that take religion as a cover for its atrocities and hideous actions, disturbing the peace and amity in communities, and causing a lot of harm to innocent people, destruction of infrastructure, and devastating impact on economy and the social structure. Unfortunately, Jordan's media—as is the case with other Arab media—seems to have issues with their adopted strategies to deal with terrorism, its causes, and influencing factors. The chapter provides the details and findings of a study that attempts to characterize the approach adopted by Jordan's media coverage of terrorism and to investigate and appraise the strategic value of such approach, leading to the recommendation for a more effective strategy that is based on proper understanding of the political, social, and economic environment and other key factors.
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There is no doubt that media plays an essential role in contemporary societies. Media has become the main source to form collective awareness among citizens around the world. It is very critical due to its far-reaching impact on public awareness through promotional messages and communication, and it is the cornerstone of the general strategy of states, especially in times of crisis and war. As the Arab world is facing a real nasty war against terrorism nowadays, the media element has become a key player in the overall confrontation, at a time the old media “radio and television” is becoming less present in the face of the new media and is losing a lot of ground to “social networks”. The influence of traditional media is partly weakened due to lacking ​​interactivity, which is one of the most important features of the new media. Today, the Arab and Islamic world is facing a terrorist fanaticism that uses religion as a cover for its actions, and recruiting members and supporters in the name of religion.

Despite the perceived value of media agencies and public need for them, they do not seem to have a clear, well-defined strategy and a comprehensive approach to counter terrorism, unfortunately, Jordanian media, is no different to other Arab media in not only lacking effective professional media strategies to cope with terrorism, its causes and factors, but also they lack qualified media cadres and competent resources. All that the traditional media seem to be able to offer in the event of an accident is a reactive coverage that is characterized by panic and short-termism. A report on a terrorist incident is filed-aired sometimes in the context of obtaining a spontaneous press release rather than being part of a more systematic planning approach. Such incoherent, ad-hoc approach would definitely fail to be up to address an issue as important as terrorism and provide meaningful answers to the questions and concerns of the general public.

There is a lack of interpretation and analysis of the phenomenon of terrorism in general. “Ideological” terrorist incidents, as they are known, are mixed with incidents of armed robbery, theft or drug traffickers and even with incidents against members of the police and security officers that occur sometimes for reasons of revenge or retaliations.

Therefore, this chapter reflects on the findings of a quantitative research that was designed and conducted to shed light on the Jordanian media coverage of the phenomenon of terrorism through the Jordan TV and the Roya TV channels.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Terrorism: A criminal act carried out by individuals, groups, or official or non-official institutions to damage public and private properties to disrupt the security situation, stability and national unity, or instilling fear, terror, and panic among people or causing chaos for terrorist purposes.

Strategic Management: The continuous planning, monitoring, analysis and assessment of all that is necessary for an organization to meet its goals and objectives.

Communication: The imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium.

Strategic Planning: Strategic planning is an organizational management activity that is used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals, establish agreement around intended outcomes/results, and assess and adjust the organization's direction in response to a changing environment.

Media: The main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the internet) regarded collectively.

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