While terrorist activities must be recorded, how those incidents are handled and interpreted is critical.

In this regard, the media has a duty to play in dispersing tensions that arise after terrorist attacks rather than escalating them, which means keeping the general people generally calm by assuring less trauma, sensation, and offering more information.

Another role of the media is to lessen the brutality, horrors, and unnecessarily gory and morbid details of the terrorist act; this also means preserving and upholding the victims' dignity by not airing things like the victims' disfigured bodies, bloody occurrences, and other heinous scenes.

In the event of terrorist attacks, perhaps one of the most critical part of counterterrorism efforts is information. In most instances, the governments use media information in making suboptimal decisions regarding counterterrorism moves. Therefore, one of the most important roles of the media is to provide factual, accurate, clear, and balanced; hence, unbiased information to avoid misinterpretation by both the government and general public while enabling them to act accordingly.

During terrorist attacks, it is also the media's role in presenting the perpetrators as criminals rather than glamorizing them or justifying their actions, thus regardless of their cause.

Moreover, another essential responsibility of the media is to preserve and withhold crucial information on either planned or rather current anti-terrorist actions as well as any information that might aid the terrorists.

Analysis of the Media

The media plays a vital role in the calculus of terrorist attracts and in most are put in positions where they can either magnify or minimize such acts. Over the years, there have been huge debates on whether the media promotes or prevents terrorists' agendas. Concerning this, research indicates that to a great extent most terrorist acts occur due to the impact media has particularly public and the nation as a whole. The media has, therefore, been unable to balance between keeping the public informed in the event of terrorist attacks and becoming tools for the terrorist which has resulted in not only tactical but also strategic gains particularly to the terrorist operations. Terrorist use the media for a number of reasons such as conveying ideological preferences, gaining public attention, reaching a greater audience, as well as inspiring fear and respect.

In the event of terrorist attacks, the media tends to spread wittingly or unwittingly messages of sheer terror thereby, promoting the terrorist agendas. For example, during the 9/11 attacks, the media's response to the crisis was far from being prudent, calm as well as objective. Instead, the media oozed with not only hysteria but also hatred as it called for mass action against the Arabs and Muslims. Having achieved the media-centered objective, the terrorist groups manage to send their message across that even the US was vulnerable thereby, instilling fear among the US citizens and across the globe. Moreover, the terrorists obtained global recognition and gained legitimacy among its supporter or rather potential recruits through the fear narrative employed by the media. The 9/11 is one of the few cases that prove that how media coverage promotes terrorist agendas.

Works Cited

Bilgen, A. “Terrorism and the Media: A Dangerous Symbiosis”. (2012). http://www.e-ir.info/2012/07/22/terrorism-and-the-media-a-dangerous-symbiosis/ Assessed (24th November, 2017).

Perl, R. “Terrorism, the Media, and the Government: Perspectives, Trends, and Options for Policymakers”. (1997). http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/state/crs-terror-media.htm Assessed (24th November, 2017).

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