"Terrorists & The Media"

to climb out of’ but they also limit our desire to even climb out of the hole.

Key Metrics:

To realize the exaggerative effect that the media has, consider the perception versus reality of just the issue of danger from nuclear accidents as an example;

  • Chernobyl incident – The worst nuclear accident in history, when an old nuclear power plant, well beyond its designed life date, went into meltdown due to an unpredictable series of events – 31 deaths in explosion and perhaps, at most, a few thousand more from the effects of radiation in the decades thereafter.
  • Fukushima Daiichi disaster – When an old nuclear power plant nearing its 40 years end of life, was disastrously hit by a once in a thousand years Tsunami caused by an earthquake that measure 9.3 on the Richter scale – 1 death due to a crane accident, 2 sick due to radiation burns and 37 injured but mainly due to the destruction caused by the Tsunami and not due to the meltdown. Future deaths due to radiation are estimated from 0 upto 100, and the extra cancer risk estimated at 1 additional case in every 500 of the people affected.
  • Compare this with the coal industry where in 2007 in China alone there were 3,786 deaths, not including the deaths from pollution etc.
  • Nuclear power looks safer despite the general perception!

“The rate for direct fatalities per unit of energy is 18 times worse for oil than it is for nuclear power.” - William Saletan – and is even worse for coal.

This then raises questions about the similar exaggerative effect the media has by its way of presenting the perception of Terror incidents.

Key Questions :-

  • Is there a pattern to Terror incidents / strikes and can it make them predictable?
  • How do Terrorists seek to gain maximum impact from the incidents / strikes they implement?
  • Is such impact due to any specific motivation, or cause, or the nature of incident, or number of fatalities?
  • How should the Media cover Terror incidents / strikes and how should the Authorities deal with the Media?


  • Media attention and its efforts to highlight the shock value and exaggerate the threat or consequences to gain more and prolonged TRP's / Viewership, allow the Terrorists greater recognition and unduly magnify the effect of the incident.

That the Terrorists, who carry out strikes on the unsuspecting, mostly soft Civilian targets, are able to play on the self interests of the Media is generally perceived as true, though ofcourse the Media denies that it can be so manipulated.


The effect of the great advances in technological and communication fields and the rapid changes in the social sphere have led to extraordinary empowerment of even dissatisfied individuals and small groups, enabling them to bring issues to a super critical state where it is easier to trigger extreme events with relatively less effort than in earlier times.

Insurgents / Guerillas target the Security Forces. They become ‘Terrorists’ when

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The simple exananptiols you have provided along with your article make this one of the best written and best detail-oriented articles I have had the enjoyment of reading and thinking about in a long time.
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