Mass-mediated Terrorism: The Central Role of the Media in Terrorism and Counterterrorism

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2007 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 253 pages
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Mass-Mediated Terrorism, Second Edition, an in-depth look at terrorism, political violence, and mass media, shows how terrorists exploit global media networks and information highways to carry news of their violence along with 'propaganda of the deed.' To what extent is the media advancing or obstructing the propaganda and policy goals of terrorists and their targets? Has the Internet strengthened the hands of terrorists to organize, recruit, and spread propaganda? How have targets of terrorism used the media to manipulate public opinion and advance their own agendas? From U.S. cases to incidents abroad, this award-winning book explores the use of political violence for the sake of publicity, media coverage of counterterrorism policies and its affect on political decision making, and the impact of new media. This revised second edition, which includes a new chapter on public opinion, is updated with analysis of the Iraq war, increasing terrorist attacks abroad, and subsequent counterterrorism measures. It also contains new information on the Arab satellite network Al-Jazeera and the use of the Internet in terrorist efforts. Mass-Mediated Terrorism offers a blueprint both for effective public information and media relations during terrorism crises as well as for ethical news coverage of major terrorism incidents.

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Nacos argues that terrorist and terrorist networks, along with counter-terrorist organizations, are now able to exploit extensive global media networks and information highways instantly to carry news of their violence and to spread political propaganda in order to generate support for their cause. Specifically, the goal of acquiring publicity for their cause has been made much easier with the many forms of media and instant reporting. With the exception of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the book solely focuses on terrorist attacks on the United States that are perpetrated by radical Islamists. Although this bias is presented throughout the book, it is very informative of how the media, public and government officials of the United States interact. This book presents the media as being the primary source of information used by governments to collect information and make decisions, a point which is sometimes difficult to believe completely. In all, this book is well written and would be a good read for any person that is a communications or political science major, or any person that may be taking a media-related course.
Reviewed by: DARREN HAROLD

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About the author (2007)

Brigitte L. Nacos is adjunct professor of political science at Columbia University.

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