Media Stereotypes of Terrorism

Media Stereotypes of Terrorism

Georgios Terzis (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium & Global Governance Institute, Belgium)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5776-2.ch007
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Abstract

This chapter analyzes different stereotypes used by media when covering terrorism events. It discusses topics such as: media stereotypes of different terrorist groups, how media responses differ according to the type of terrorism, type of medium (e.g., print, broadcast, and on-line), location of the headquarters of the medium (regional subjectivity), the audience of the medium (national, transnational, or international), and the political affiliation and market orientation of the medium. This chapter attempts to provide an additional analysis of the way that these stereotypes are formulated by the use of basic and not so basic rhetorical techniques of the invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery applied. All the above are analyzed against the background of the basic social determinants of journalism: political pressures and censorship, technological possibilities, news management and public relations strategies of the army, economic pressures and professional culture, and the basic news values or news selection criteria (e.g., timing of the event, negativity, meaningfulness, and reference to elite nations and persons).
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Terrorism And Media Coverage

Terrorists know that their activity is 10% violence and 90% publicity, whereas the US response in Afghanistan and Iraq is 90% violence and 10% strategic communications (Taylor, 2009, p. 14).

It should be noted that it is not the purpose of this chapter to discuss extensively the term “terrorism.” Instead, this chapter focuses on the part of the definition that sees terrorism as a media management strategy with which terrorists try to reach different audiences, and the “reaction” of the media to this strategy, targeting mainly but not exclusively on the stereotypes they use.

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