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Terrorism

Terrorism is a major problem facing our nation and when the media report terrorist actions they just enhance the problem to a larger scale. “If the media were not there to report terrorist acts and to explain their political and social significance… terrorism as such would cease to exist,” said John O’Sullivan, an editor of the Times of London (Terrorism 3). This is also the way many other people feel about the recent increase in terrorist activity; they feel that the media is causing it. The media is doing this by fulfilling the terrorists’ need for publicity (Terrorism 3). Terrorists need media publicity in order to get their views spread to the public. Because of this need for publicity, terrorists are committing their acts of terrorism in areas where a lot of publicity will be gained, the United States. The bombings of the World Trade Center in New York is a current example of terrorists seeking publicity in the United States. Terrorists’ need for publicity has been around for a long time, but new media technologies are causing the problem to grow faster than ever. Terrorism is growing at an impressive rate of 12 to 15 percent per year (Sobel 4). The media cause many problems besides helping terrorists. They inspire more terrorism to happen, cause terrorist attacks to be bigger, cause problems with authorities, and cause ineffective laws to be passed. To solve these problems, government censorship and self-regulation have been suggested (Nicholls 117).
Terrorists commit acts at specific places and in certain ways to gain large publicity. When a terrorist has publicity as his main goal, he is known as a “modern” terrorist; this type of terrorism has been around for a long time, but not until around 1968 was it widely known (Sobel 38). As new media technologies have been invented, terrorist groups have been able to publicize their views to a bigger audience than they had ever imagined possible. Terrorists stage an event that will…

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