Thursday, September 09, 2004

pondering terror

if there was no media, would there be events like Beslan?

does terrorism not rely on the spreading of a message of terror. if there was no media, no CNN, then is terror not decreased as an instrument of effectiveness?

to do something, go here.

Posted by steve at 11:19 PM


  1. Ummm, you may have a point. But, I dunno!

    There was a time of inner city riots in the UK, and the press and tv would devote huge amounts to reporting it, and the more they reported the more they seemed to occur in other cities – even leafy suburbs not just deprived areas.

    I think the thought then was that reporting increased the rioting and the feeling was that the government in some way suppressed reporting. They weren’t that open about it, but overnight, no action footage was shown on tv news, but maybe a still photo instead. In the newspapers, instead of the whole of the front page, there might be a report, one column-inch buried on page five. Something changed. The riots stopped.

    I can’t help feeling though that this restriction was government control and and impinged upon my freedom to know. I felt then that riots were happening still but I wasn’t informed and felt ‘unsafe’ and unnerved as a result of that. Maybe, those riots are occuring sporadically today, but how would I know? It’s a catch22 situation. I want to know, but know that knowing might lead to copy-cat crimes.

    I think with Belsan, the major need is not suppression of news broadcasts – sorry to get very serious for a minute – but the establishmenr of justice, and for discussion between both ‘sides’ to start rather than Putin or any other world leader just declare someone a terrorist and wage war on them. To each side the other is the terrorist.

    Comment by Jonathan — September 10, 2004 @ 1:09 am

  2. wow – what a concept. it’s horrible, i can’t even watch the news anymore – i just update online so i can keep in touch with what is happening in the world. the horror is gut wrenching.

    Comment by bobbie — September 10, 2004 @ 9:42 am

  3. Hmmm… the “public eye” seems to be a key factor in choosing the targets of many terrorist acts. cf. Montreal Olympics, 9/11, Oklahoma City bombings, etc., etc.

    But is it the primary motivation for the acts? Did the Chechen rebels create a situation where hundreds of people were killed because they thought they’d get on TV, or was the motivation deeper: Good old-fashioned hatred?

    There are many large-scale violent acts in the world that don’t get much media coverage. Even the genocide in Rwanda was happening for some time before it was acknowledged by the world (AFAIK).

    These things often seem to be discussed in terms of creed or race (Nthn Ireland Catholic/protestant, Chechnya, Nth Africa, Middle East & Balkans Christian/Muslim, etc) but it seems that deeper than this sectarianism is the firmly held belief that “My people have more right to live here/live than yours do”. This isn’t going to go away if the news satellites do.

    Comment by RoryG — September 10, 2004 @ 10:49 am

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