Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Threatening Symbiosis of Mass Media and Terrorism

Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Threatening Symbiosis of Mass Media and Terrorism

Article excerpt


Global distribution of terrorism, its transformation and crucial role of mass media in this process, in the last decades, causes need for researching this phenomenon. The understanding of interrelation processes between terrorism and mass media is impossible without their accurate determination, research of methods and structure. At today's stage this perspective is a learning object of many humanitarian and military branches of science, but considering sensational dynamics of terrorism distribution and development of information technologies, it requires fixed monitoring, research, forecasting, as well as search of prevention ways of development and influence of terrorism on modern society. In this article we will try to constitute some overall picture of terrorism and mass media interrelation problems, to give assessment, as well as to determine the subsequent actions and recommendations for civil society in general, and for mass media in particular. The used methods in this research are: analysis, synthesis and comparison of various mass media, regulatory legal acts, as well as information policy, both national, and international.

Between media structures and terrorism there are interactive (symbiotic) relations as mass media have industry templates for producing multimedia content, giving preference to sensational information whereas actions of terrorist groups provide it (S. M. Kochoi., 2005, p.209).

There are three main definitions of this phenomenon: "terrorism", "terror" and "act of terrorism". For understanding the general theory of terrorism it is necessary to understand these concepts.

Terrorism (from lat. terror - fear, horror) is defined in scientific literature as policy, method of political action or ideology of violence, with systematic application of acts of physical, armed violence (Encyclopedias and dictionaries, 1996, reference date 3/1/2015).

Terror is defined as the set of actions which are expressed in physical abuse, made for the purpose of intimidating the civilian population up to elimination.

The act of terrorism is the act made for intimidation of the population or creating danger of the population death, causing property harm or other heavy consequences for the purpose of rendering influence on decision making of the government, international organizations etc. (The criminal code of the Russian Federation of June 13, 1996, reference date 3/1/2015).

Thus, these concepts are defined as synonymous. But, the terrorism represents difficult social and political phenomenon whereas, the act of terrorism and terror are criminal actions and the related social and political, social and economic, social and psychological consequences for society.

Also it seems interesting that in the Code of Federal Regulations of the USA the terrorism is defined differently. For example, the terrorism has 3 main characteristics: includes violent or life-threatening acts which violate the federal legislation or the state legislation; shows that aims to intimidate or force the civilian population; actions intended on influencing policy of the government by intimidation or coercion, by mass destruction, murder or stealing; as well as considering actions which arise outside territorial jurisdiction of the USA, or are beyond national borders from the view point of means by which they are carried out; specifies persons which resort to intimidation or coercion, or use of the language standard for criminals working or looking for shelters; concerning murders or attempted homicides of officials and employees of the USA imply actions (Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, reference date 1.06.2015).

As appears from all aforesaid, definition of the term "terrorism" is represented rather indistinct.

Modern society has faced a new type of terrorism which can not always get under similar definitions, in this process mass media have a key role. Large acts of terrorism are specified in the history that the terrorism uses mass media for the benefit of operational efficiency, collection of information, recruitment, mobilization of financial resources and promotion schemes. …

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