Anufrienko, Svetlana V. “Mass Media as a Vital Element of Modern Terrorism.” Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research 18 2 (2013): 206-09. Print.
The label, “terrorist” describes a group of the most unstable and deadly people of the current generation. The threat of terrorism is growing exponentially, as terrorist ideologies spread like a wildfire through the online community, morphing into dramatic action.
Mass media provides a crutch for terrorism recruitment to lean on; allowing for a large audience with minimal effort provided from terrorist organizations. Organizations use online mass media as free propaganda, promoting their accomplishments through open discussion, and intense scrutiny. He bond that mass media culture and terrorism have, parallels that of oxygen and a fire. The thoughts and actions of those who react to violent displays of cruelty only serve to feed the flame.
Observations show that the mass media craze that follows terrorism may have more effect on the global scale than the event itself. Information spreads much faster, more emotionally, and anonymously, allowing for a faster feedback. The Israeli hostage situation of the 1972 is incredibly well known. This is was, in large part, due to mass television promotion of the event, broadcasting the situation across the globe in a matter of minutes, only adding to the intensity of the event, rendering it beyond anything terrorist propaganda was deemed capable of before.
Online mass media culture only furthers the reach of terrorist organizations. The popularity of social media has far surpassed the popularity of television and newspaper, opening a new window of communication for tech-savvy terrorist groups. The internet provides the perfect outlet for terrorist recruitment and ideology. Easily accessible, as well as anonymous, online media grants the capability of terrorist communication for misinformation, as well as communication with public figures. This all allows for a stream of interest from curious audiences.
The capabilities that mass media provides has shown rise to new forms of terrorism. Acts of cruelty are evolving to become more dramatic, symbolic in nature. This forces an emotional connection in audiences, allowing for different outcomes of the event varying on region. These acts cumulate into civilian involvement, leading to causalities sending a strong message. The accumulation of these messages broadcasts a strong message of dangerous involvement, terrifying consequences, and a terrible misunderstanding of a religion turned into fruitless killing.
These fruitless killings terrify me. The unknown strength of terrorist organizations allows for such an online presence that is equally as hard to estimate, though it appears rather large in appearance. This has been the case in many media forms since the provided example of the 1972 Olympic hostage situation thrust mass coverage of terrorist threats into a hysterical spotlight. These events truly are free propaganda for terrorist groups; lending media coverage to groups is an unneeded catalyst that sparks the wrong type of attention.
This instills a sense of pride within these groups, only further encouraging acts of cruelty that surpass previous attempts. This cycle will not stop until mass media coverage of such events is tamed, allowing for less of a public reaction from intended audiences. I however fear this will not happen, due to the fear of censorship that clings to many Americans, further encouraging a growing ego in the Middle East.