Terrorists & the Media
Bad makes News – Media over simplifies and endlessly repeats itself exaggerating the incident – Terrorists manipulate the Media and use NGO’s to shape the story – Authorities must be as open with the Media as possible and Media must act more responsibly.
Quotations for consideration:
- “… given that there’s been probably a ten - fold amount of information about terrorism through the Media than there has about climate change; I think that’s quite an interesting statistic.” - Peter Garrett
- “Terrorism is psychological warfare. Terrorists try to manipulate us and change our behaviour by creating fear, uncertainty, and division in society. The key battleground in the war on terrorism, therefore, is in the minds of the … people.” - Patrick J. Kennedy .
- “Fighting Terrorism is like being a Goal keeper. You can make a hundred brilliant saves but the only one shot that people remember is the one that gets past you.” - Paul Wilkinson .
- “If you don’t read the newspaper (or don’t watch TV), you are uninformed; If you do read the newspaper (or do watch TV), you are misinformed”. - Mark Twain .
- “If we are forced, at every hour, to watch (or read) or listen to horrible events, this constant stream of ghastly impressions will deprive even the most delicate among us of all respect for humanity.” - Cicero (106 - 43 BCE)
- “The (Media) has a breathtaking capacity for over simplifying. Reality is always more complicated.” - Marc Stiegler.
- “Risk perception is not emotions and reason, or facts and feelings. It’s both, inescapably, down at the very wiring of our brain. Our risk perception is flawed enough to create harm, but it is something society (and Media) can do something about.” - David Ropeick
- “We do not live in a bad world. It is just that the bad makes news. We need to recognize the good in the world and the extraordinary things ordinary people are doing, and ask the media to present that, even if it needs greater effort from them.” - T. T. Rangarajan.
Understanding the effect of media reports - as Marc Stiegler notes -
Statistically, we have never been safer. Many of us are living longer and more uneventfully. Yet we worry more than ever. The natural dangers are no longer there, but the response mechanisms are still in place, and now with the ‘impossible - to - avoid’ media continuously scaring us in an attempt to capture market share, they are turned on much of the time. We implode, turning our adaptive fear mechanism into a maladaptive panicked response.
As it is, it is hard to be optimistic because the brain’s filtering architecture is pessimistic by design. Good news is drowned out, because it is in the media’s best interest to over emphasize the bad. - “If it bleeds, it leads”.
It is not just that our evolutionary survival instincts make us believe that ‘the hole we are in is too deep