Terrorism and the media a symbiotic relationship where both organisms

Symbiosis has allowed organisms to defend themselves from predators, for adaptable symbiotic relationships that can be applied to today's organizations: can't ever be predicted just by looking at the two entities separately. Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Disease. symbiotic relationships between fungi and other species and transformation of both organic and inorganic substrates and the resultant .. themselves against the terror of death. .. GNOSTIC MEDIA (), The Pharmacratic Inquisition. Relationship between media and terrorism: a symbiosis? In biology, it is 'the relationship between two different living creatures that live close.

Media outlets in authoritarian countries may have some leeway to cover terrorism, but newsrooms often exercise self-censorship to avoid government retaliation in the form of penalties, license-stripping, legal persecution, harassment, or much worse.

Self-censorship is a loaded term that should be used only when media outlets omit to report on terrorism because they are afraid of government reprisals.

  • Terrorism and Counter-terrorism in Popular Culture in the Post-9/11 Context
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That is not the case in most liberal and democratic regimes. The journalistic profession is rooted in the people's right to know. Free speech is one of the foundations of our democracies, so any kind of imposed regulation diluting our free media will weaken the public's confidence in the integrity of news networks.

Moreover, paying no attention to acts of terror could make terrorists even more violent, as they would see a need to stage yet gorier attacks to bring back the coverage of the global media. The kind of self-restraint advocated here is one that moves the journalistic profession away from broadcasting and publishing sensationalist elements of the plans and atrocities of extremists, and reflects on the enormous influence it has in society before covering the propaganda of fundamentalists for the sake of boosting audience ratings.

The Power of Contextualizing: As a result, only a fraction of the wider public is aware of the historical, geopolitical, and social grievances that fuel extremists' loathing towards the societies and governments that they target.

The quality media as opposed to the more popular, intrinsically sensationalist news organizations like tabloid newspapers should step up its reporting standards and underline the root causes—not the twisted motives put forward by terrorists in their propaganda—that make fundamentalists kill civilians. By highlighting certain characteristics and downplaying others, the media frames terrorism in a way that helps or distorts the public's understanding of terrorism. Some expressions, concepts, and analogies play into the hands of terrorists.

Rupert Murdoch, arguably the world's most powerful media mogul, used to mock Obama for his refusal to label Daesh's terrorism as 'Islamic. The mass media cannot fall into the trap of linking the murderous ideology of these groups with the faith that guides the lives of hundreds of millions of people. Fairer alternatives would be terrorism in the name of Islam, or simply the use of the designation of the terrorist group as a prefix e.

Daesh terrorism, al-Qaeda terrorism etc. In other words, all spaces are battlefields. An attack may be prevented, repelled, or countered anywhere at any time. The terrorists and counter-terrorists are waging the perpetual war on all fronts. Terrorists are the consummate objects of fear and hatred in 21st-century America.

They have far surpassed their domestic or foreign predecessors from the previous century e. While the concept was originally conceived of in relation to the way the news media presented members of youth subcultures first British Mods and Rockers, but later American zoot-suiters, hippies, skinheads, goths, etc. As the work of many scholars illustrate, folk devils are highly stylized images of despised and reviled groups of people.

Indeed, if the Los Angeles terrorists of 24 — are any indication, the terrorist repertoire includes assassinations, car and train bombings, and chemical and radiological attacks. While by definition screen villains must be larger than life, these terrorist characters have reached levels approaching super-villainy.

Of course, this is not surprising given that their activities pose such an unprecedented threat, fully in keeping with the theme of exceptionalism. However, the presentations vacillate wildly. While the presentation of terrorists as extraordinarily evil is quite consistent across media including the strictly nonfictional media, such as news coverage, documentaries, and some reality-based programming their competency and agency varies across and within forms.

Designed to be frightening and reprehensible and always numerically significant not to mention ubiquitousterrorists are sometimes highly competent, exceptionally intelligent, and unrelentingly devious adversaries, while at other times they teeter on the brink of being subhuman caricatures—frenetic in their movement and barely intelligible in their guttural speech.

By the s the figure of the generic Arab as terrorist was firmly established in popular culture and featured prominently in a host of action, war, spy, and mystery-thriller films such as Chain of CommandIron Eaglethe Delta Force series —FranticNavy Sealsand True Lies Whilst both are designed as objects of fear and loathing, the non-traditional terrorists are afforded far greater agency than their racialized counterparts, particularly if they are of white European descent.

This is even true, though slightly less so, of those ambiguously coded as being of Balkan or Slavic origin. For example, we can look at two main terrorist characters from the Call of Duty Modern Warfare videogame series — as an interesting comparison. Likewise, Anarchy 99, a terrorist group depicted in the film xXx and comprising former Russian soldiers and mercenaries, are politically calculating, highly organized, and prove to be quite a match for the agents of the US National Security Agency.

On the rare occasions that members of white, non-eastern European ethnic groups are shown employing terroristic violence in popular culture presentations, they are typically scripted as instrumental, sometimes heroic or noble if perhaps slightly misguided —and almost never as terrorists.

Unlike so many of the settings for Jihadist or Communist or ex-Communist or neo-Nazi, etc. Instead, they are frequently set in the distant past, a parallel world, or a dystopian future and take the form of big-budget historical films, period pieces, or sci-fi action adventures—not terrorist films or even films about terrorism. There was also the The Hunger Games: Indeed, as was previously illustrated, it rarely even acknowledges it as violence.

Instead, it is presented as counter-terrorism—astutely preventative or righteously retributive. In other words, there are far more representations of terrorism among popular-culture products than ever before. Blacklistare disproportionately presented as undifferentiated Arabs. The presentation of them is largely absent any historical or geopolitical context. The unifying message is quite clear; these terrorists are unredeemable, barbaric savages, and their use of violence against innocent non-combatants is visceral and fueled by hatred.

Stark but telling is the example of the White Masks terrorist organization from the video game Rainbow 6 Siege Predictably, these popular culture narratives about terrorist threats to America emerging from nowhere carry considerable currency with an audience whose worldview is so insular that it appears to them as though social, political, and economic forces do not exist.

Violence and its consequences, while certainly a part of the human condition, is undeniably distasteful and ugly. Because violence, particularly large-scale violence such as that employed by the state in times of war, is so horrific that it is necessary to neutralize the revulsion that viewing it would typically elicit. While the suspension of disbelief on the part of viewers, players, and other audiences is a precondition of consuming fictionalized entertainment, consuming violence and more actively participating in it, the way one would in a video game requires more than this tacit agreement between popular culture producers and consumers.

Different genres require varying narratives to make violence not only palatable but enjoyable and something to be desired. The denial of counter-terrorism as violence occurs in a variety of interconnected ways. Chief among them is the presentation of counter-terrorist agents as forces for good.

The Symbiotic Relationship between Western Media and Terrorism

Like the hard-drinking, womanizing, violent cowboys or detectives, mercenaries, etc. His shameful actions ranging from insubordination through to human rights abuses are not recognized as such in the lifeworld and certainly never punished. As heroes, their use of violence is not in fact violence but something else, such as justice. Normally understood to operate independent of one another, the concept of literal denial suggests that violence did not occur, while the concept of implicatory denial acknowledges that violence occurred but suggests that it was deserved.

In reality, the two are mutually exclusive—violence was either employed or it was not. If it was employed, it was because the target deserved it. Terrorism is a communicative act in the sense that it seeks to send a message to multiple audiences: Without this platform, the message of terrorist movements would not reach beyond its very immediate locale and therefore would remain unknown to most people outside the confined boundaries of the attack.

Bruce Hoffman explains the underlying impact of this symbiosis for terrorist organisations: However, attention economics suggest that escalation may simply continue if the aim is to maximise the increasingly scarce resource of attention. It is this vying for audience attention that makes it more appropriate to perceive terrorists as being more like theatre producers than army generals. Media-wise, terrorists are able to elicit attention by orchestrating attacks with the media as a major consideration.

They select specific targets, locations and timing of their planned attacks deliberately and according to media preferences, trying to satisfy the media criteria for newsworthiness. The attacks introduced a new level of mass-mediated terrorism because of the choices the planners made with respect to method, target, timing and scope.

Terrorists also prepare visual aids for the media through means such as video clips of their actions, taped interviews and declarations, as well as press releases. Their penchant for using images is vividly exemplified by the recording of beheading videos. Whereas these videos were previously filmed in dark rooms, produced to low-quality resolution, now such beheadings videos are filmed in the open and to a high standard of quality.

The videos are slicker, utilising cinematic effects, e. Social media has been criticised for creating echo chambers for vulnerable people who watch emotionally provocative videos. In fact, media-savvy organisations like Daesh have taken the theatre of terrorism to new heights.

It is hard not to conclude that terrorism judged on its own terms- as a way of getting attention and arousing alarm- has been a success. This contradicts the evidence that proves that most terrorist movements fade away without attaining their strategic goals.

Media Frames a Distorted Threat Perception of Terrorism The symbiotic relationship between terrorism and media produces a particular perception of terrorism as an existential threat to the security of Western countries. The media plays a critical role in producing the illusion that terrorism is an existential threat to the security of Western countries.

There is a difference between security and existential threats. In many developing countries, the systematic effects of terrorism are real- e. The existence of actors with the capacity for violence other than the state is always a threat to state legitimacy and, under certain conditions, can precipitate civil conflict.

However, the current terrorism threat posed to Western countries represents a security threat, not an existential threat.