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of Terrorist Attacks


Group Members: Maitreyee Karambelkar- 9409 Priyanka Ketkar- 9410 Tejal Shringarpure- 9424


What is Terrorism ? The calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear Encyclopedia Britannica “The systematic use of terror (such as bombings, killings, and kidnappings) as a means of forcing some political objective. When used by a government, it may signal efforts to stifle dissent; used by insurrectionists or guerrillas, it many be part of an overall effort to effect desired political change.”


A few Terrorist organizations : United Liberation Front of Assam Lashkar-e-Tayaba Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Tamil Nadu Liberation army Al Quaeda The Ku Klux Klan (Christian terrorists in USA)


Various Terrorist attacks : April 23, 1966- A bomb exploded in Diphu railroad station, Assam June 22, 1985- An Air India Flight 182 was blown up by a bomb The 1993 bomb blats in Calcutta and Mumbai December 24, 1999- Indian Airlines Flight 814 from Kathmandu, Nepal, to Delhi was hijacked In the year 2000, 17 terrorist attacks in places like Mumbai, Kashmir, and Punjab Indian Parliament attack : On 13 December 2001 In the year 2004, 27 attacks The 2008 series attacks 9/11 Twin Tower attack London Tube Railway Attack


Media and Terrorism


The evolution of mass communication dramatically changed the scene of terrorism and the way terrorists conduct their activities The media are (mostly unwilling) allies of the terrorists- media want the ‘story’ terrorists want their ‘message’ spread Media have a lot of control over the impact of terrorist activity


The Media Magnifier Media


The German Terrorist Michael (Bommi) Bauman wrote in How it all Began: “We took a great interest in the press. We always immediately looked how the newspapers, especially in Berlin, reacted to our actions, and how they explained them, and thereupon we defined our strategy.” Bauman explained why Media are so important for the terrorists’ success by saying: “At that time, we were already very much on that media trip…. It was always great when those actions were planned. You could have a good laugh. They were really well put together, so that the symbolism would appear. And when all went well, you had great fun. We would go home and watch it all on the telly. That was great.” Quote


Terrorists and the Media - one and the same thing Initially terrorists had to rely on the news channels or the papers to give them coverage Advent of Internet Writing books


Terrorism is all about perception perception of the ‘just cause’ the terrorists are fighting for perception that the “ends justify the means” (and there is no alternative) perception of popular support for the terrorists’ ‘cause’ perception of the severity of the terrorist threat How the Media helps


Media play an important role perspective of media coverage including descriptive language prevalence of media coverage number of media sources duration of coverage detail of coverage

World Trade Centre:

World Trade Centre Unique attack - Terrorist use news values Terrorism as theatre – Media was blamed for dramatizing the event. But actually it doesn’t. 11 September 2001

Major differences in language and tone of TV and newspaper coverage of the 9/11 attacks :

Major differences in language and tone of TV and newspaper coverage of the 9/11 attacks TV news transcripts had higher emotion scores than print News stories for blame, praise, satisfaction, tenacity, and motion, but not aggression. The greater the exposure to television hard news, the stronger the negative emotional response; that is, heavier television news users sustained a higher level of negative emotional reactions to the terrorist attacks than heavier newspaper users.


Live Silence Strategies of live silence include incessant repetition of old information, slow motion plays, irrelevant talk or small talk, cataloguing of what is unknown in place of actual reporting, unfilled pauses in video sequences.


CNN’s breaking news coverage Use of split screens and inset-footage, ground zero footage, and disconnected video.


Main stream papers did not bring out the unsolved mystery of 9/11 while the non-main stream news sources including several web sites played an important and more assiduous role in pursuing the critical failures that led to 9/11 and subsequent events. Within 24 hours of the World Trade Center attack, Slate magazine published a detailed civil engineering explanation of why the towers fell, and a full biographical profile of Osama bin Laden.


The New York Times , Washington Post , and London-based papers The Times and The Independent journalists gave audiences not just a first draft of history, but relied upon the past to explain the contemporary story. All four related September 11 to Pearl Harbor and Oklahoma City, though the London Times more often pointed to differences than similarities of the Pearl Harbor analogy.

The editorials described the foe as terrorism in general, and Osama Bin Laden in particular.:

The editorials described the foe as terrorism in general, and Osama Bin Laden in particular. Journalists drew on several strategies supporting the evil genius archetype These included turning Bin Laden into a faceless abstraction or a vile creature referencing Bin Laden’s height and creepy physical presence in variously describing him as a living statue or a human of monumental proportions; and focusing on Bin Laden’s eyes which took on the appearance of a homicidal maniac. Consequently, the media served to inflate Bin Laden’s reputation as a dangerous criminal mastermind, focusing fear and loathing on an individual enemy that also explained U.S. forces. inability to apprehend him .

How the 9/11 attacks changed the ways that newspapers and television news reported about American Muslims and Arab-Americans?:

How the 9/11 attacks changed the ways that newspapers and television news reported about American Muslims and Arab-Americans? Media analysts Nacos and Torres-Reyna reported a shift from fairly limited and stereotypical coverage in the pre-9/11 period to a more comprehensive, inclusive and less stereotypical news presentation. Following the 9/11 attacks, in addition to more frequent and prominently placed references, reporters and editors increased their use of Muslim and Arab-American sources.

How the American, Indian and Pakistani press reported?:

How the American, Indian and Pakistani press reported? To cite a specific example of how American and South Asian press differed:- The American press began to see President Bush in a new light and granted him increase leadership stature. The Indian press remained cynical about the President and proved unable to transcend the caricature of prior malapropisms and perceived ineptitude The Pakistani press virtually ignored the personality of the President to focus instead on the power of the Office to alter through political and military actions, the lives and futures of the Pakistani people and its neighbors Sources - Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

London bombings:

London bombings At 08:50, three bombs exploded within fifty seconds of each other on three London Underground trains, a fourth exploding an hour later at 09:47 on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square. 7 July 2005


Rolling news coverage BBC One and ITV1 uninterrupted until 7pm Sky News did not carry any advertisements for 24 hours ITN later confirmed that its coverage on ITV1 was its longest uninterrupted on-air broadcast in its 50 year history.

Situational Shows:

Situational Shows BBC Radio 4 – John Buchan's Greenmantle ITV – The Siege , Gone in 60 seconds BBC – soap East Enders Sky One – Terror attacks : Could you survive…?

Mumbai train blasts:

Mumbai train blasts Confusion about no. of explosions Photos and images in newspapers and on television channels Breaking news: slugs Constant updates Bites of commuters, police, doctors, people who helped the victims 11 July 2006

Some Media Blunders:

Some Media Blunders “The job of the press is not to worry about the consequences of its coverage but to tell the truth….As much as those of us in the press would like to be the popular and loved, it is more important that we are accurate and fair…and let the chips fall where they may” -Larry Grossmann, president, NBC news

Media Coverage of 26/11:

Media Coverage of 26/11 The 26/11 terrorist attacks (2008) were a series of coordinated attacks across Mumbai, India’s financial capital The attack carried out by LeT- a terrorist organization using grenades and weapons began on 26 November and ended on 28 November 2008 At least 173 people were killed in the attacks and 308 were injured Eight attacks occurred in South Mumbai- CST railway station, the Oberoi Trident, The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Leopold Café, Cama Hospital, Nariman House, Metro cinema and a lane behind the Times of India building There was also an explosion at the Mazgaon docks and a taxi blast at Vile Parle

Media Coverage of 26/11:

Media Coverage of 26/11 Ajmal Amir Kasab, the only terrorist captured alive disclosed that the attackers were members of the Lashkar-e-Toiba The attacks drew widespread condemnation across the world Political reactions in Mumbai and India included a spate of resignations and political change fuelled by media’s coverage of these events Media coverage highlighted the use of new media and internet social networking sites with the internet coverage far ahead of the more traditional media The Mumbai attacks media coverage is criticized as being more theatrical than professional

Media Coverage of 26/11:

Media Coverage of 26/11 This was true more of the Internet media and the 24 hour live television news channels The tragedies of thousands of families were cashed in upon by these news channels turning them into an golden opportunity to grab eyeballs The ‘war on terrorism’ was a war waged through the mass media. The way in which media represent conflict is a part of the conflict Headlines of popular English newspapers- The Hindu- Rash of terror attacks in Mumbai The Times Of India- Its War on Mumbai

Media Coverage of 26/11:

Media Coverage of 26/11 Deccan Chronicle- Terrorists rip apart Mumbai New Indian Express- War-zone Mumbai

Media Coverage of 26/11:

Media Coverage of 26/11 While brave officers lost their lives, television journalists held microphones before distraught people to know their reactions People remained glued to their television sets as the dreadful drama unfolded on television. Every minute, channels gave ‘live coverage’ about the attacks ‘Brave’ journalists rushed with their cameramen to capture live footage of terrorism in Mumbai….. can we really call this a brave attempt? Soldiers and people from the police force had to tackle important issues of terrorism and assist in the rescue operations. On the other hand, they had to tactfully handle the flashbulbs and microphones. Is the media justified in causing stress to the police force and security services and adding to the chaos of the situation? What if a journalist was hurt in a situation like this? Who is to blame?

Media Coverage of 26/11:

Media Coverage of 26/11 The events were unfolded in detail not only on television but also on many websites. Reports reveal that the Indian Government even had to request the citizens of Mumbai in particular, to avoid giving such live coverage Questions have been raised about the amount of information to be revealed on television. This is simply because, such channels are accessible to all, including the people who have planned this ghastly terror attack Media can be a powerful tool to help people in a time like this. Media plays an important role when it comes to asking for help for the needy, flashing news about the status of the rescued people and such issues that can help improve the situation or help people in need

Media Coverage of 26/11:

Media Coverage of 26/11 However, giving a minute-by-minute coverage about important activities by the security services is surely not a wise move and can never be justified Television reporters displayed insensitivity as they posed the most impractical questions to distraught and bereaved people The relentless TV coverage of the Mumbai terror attacks is an indication of both its success and failure Among other things, TV reporters have been accused of giving away critical information to the terrorists by indicating the size of the NSG forces, etc. In the pursuit of TRPs, TV anchors tend to look for ways to hook the viewer, and often this means catering to low tastes (especially in the regional media), and sensationalism

Media Coverage of 26/11:

Media Coverage of 26/11 The relentless TV coverage of the attacks forced newspapers to follow suit - since TV often sets the news agenda The really worrying aspect about TV coverage is that SMSs and rumors get flashed as "Breaking News" , often without verification The media has a lot to learn from the 26/11 attack in which it had unwittingly helped the terrorist cause

Criticism of the Indian Media:

Criticism of the Indian Media Shefali Anand and Vibhuti Agarwal in the Wall Street Journal chronicle the highs and lows of the Indian media’s coverage of the Mumbai terror attack – Most of the Indian television news channels have been around for less than five years. For some, the Mumbai siege, which began Wednesday night, was the first major event they had covered live, and they rushed to provide nonstop coverage to the riveted national audience Viewers’ feedback on coverage of the siege has been uneven. While millions of viewers remained glued to their screens for the latest information, some criticized the coverage in their blogs — irritated with the hyperbole and melodramatic rhetoric of some TV reporters The live coverage of the attack raised concerns about potential risks to India’s security operations. Some TV channels showed the positions of security forces stationed outside the buildings that were under siege, and some aired information about commandoes’ movements. That alarmed security officials: They worried that the information might reach the terrorists, who Indian authorities believe carried cell phones Security officials and a broadcasting-industry association eventually asked TV channels to exercise restraint in what they aired.

Criticism of the Indian Media:

Criticism of the Indian Media Tahmineh Khajotia critiques the one-upmanship in the Indian media’s coverage of the Mumbai terror attack – It has been impossible to ignore the countless times news channels claim to be the first to report a certain incident. It is almost sickening. Before the incident is reported, they remind us that they are the first to be reporting it. Is that really the most important side of a developing crisis? And others- Their (television news channels’) coverage of the attacks has been completely self-defeating and highly immoral, if nothing else. They are causing as much damage to us right now, just not in terms of lives. Shameful irreverence from such tardy media persons is shocking in such times. They definitely have an agenda of their own, and I can bet my entire fortune on it that the unity of the people or strict action on terrorism is not part of it. They are too happy in their petty world of pointless debates, disuniting and cynical rhetoric and brainless remarks on sensitive issues

Newspaper Articles and Photographs:

Newspaper Articles and Photographs Article from The Financial Express- 26/11, the multiple attacks and torturously long terror strikes in Mumbai will now be firmly entrenched in the global psyche as a sequel to 9/11 and 7/7, thanks to the international media coverage along with the magnitude and nature of the terror strike. Whether it was the International Herald Tribune, or its sister publication The New York Times, Financial Times, The Economist, The Sun or The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal or The Moscow Times, the Mumbai terror strike flashed as the lead story on the front pages on Friday even as events around Mumbai were still unfolding. Even the electronic media globally devoted substantial hours of coverage to the Mumbai terror strikes with the BBC World sourcing feeds from Star Majha, the Marathi channel offering from the Star Group apart from NDTV, while CNN relied on footage of CNN IBN apart from creating direct interface with social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. CNN got in touch with eye witnesses who had shared their experiences and photographs on social networking sites and interviewed them telephonically to broadcast a first hand account


From a popular English daily


On the second day


Scene from outside the Taj


The Taj on fire

Changing approach of Indian Media towards terrorism:

Changing approach of Indian Media towards terrorism 26/11 had proved to be a turning point for the Indian media. It changed the conventional approach of the media which perceives the events of terrorism in domestic(law and order ) context Earlier media analysed terrorist attacks from law and order and communal perspectives. The issues like the demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya(1992), the Gujarat riots(2002), Muslim backwardness etc . were discussed in reports and analyses while examining terrorism in India Thus terrorism was largely, in the worldview of the Indian media , a product of domestic factors which could be deterred by good governance, alertness of police forces and removal of the backwardness of minority communities 26/11 shattered such perception of the media

Changing approach of Indian Media towards terrorism:

Changing approach of Indian Media towards terrorism The Indian media created a strong public opinion in favour of the stricter laws (like POTA) to combat terrorism and it realised that the terrorism in India was intrinsically linked with the global terrorism/ Jihad The Indian media by and large became the votary of  Hard State  instead of its earlier advocacy of Soft State . 26/11 made a radical transformation in the attitude of the Indian media. They realised that terrorism in India was not an isolated event or as a result of some domestic factors which led to communal feuds, but that terrorism was an ideology and the terrorist attacks in India were part of the mission of Global Jihad.

2001 Parliament attacks:

2001 Parliament attacks Here are some of the malicious, outright lies that appeared in the mainstream press: 'Case Cracked: Jaish behind Attack' the Hindustan Times, Dec 16, 2001: Neeta Sharma and Arun Joshi "In Delhi, the Special Cell detectives detained a Lecturer in Arabic, who teaches at Zakir Hussain College (Evening)...after it was established that he had received a call made by militants on his mobile phone." Another column in the same paper said: "Terrorists spoke to him before the attack and the lecturer made a phone call to Pakistan after the strike." 'DU Lecturer was terror plan hub' The Times of India, Dec 17, 2001 "The attack on Parliament on December 13 was a joint operation of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorist groups in which a Delhi University lecturer, Syed A.R.Gilani, was one of the key facilitators in Delhi, Police Commissioner Ajai Raj Sharma said on Sunday." 'Varsity don guided fidayeen' The Hindu, Dec 17, 2001: Devesh K. Pandey

2001 Parliament attacks:

2001 Parliament attacks "During interrogation Geelani disclosed that he was in the know of the conspiracy since the day the 'fidayeen' attack was planned.“ 'Don lectured on terror in free time'  The Hindustan Times, Dec 17, 2001: Sutirtho Patranobis "Investigations have revealed that by evening he was at the college teaching Arabic literature. In his free time, behind closed doors, either at his house or at Shaukat Hussain's, another suspect to be arrested, he took and gave lessons on terrorism...“ 'Professor's proceeds' The Hindustan Times, Dec 17, 2001 "Geelani recently purchased a house for 22 lakhs in West Delhi. Delhi Police are investigating how he came upon such a windfall...". 'Aligarh se England tak chaatron mein aatankwaad ke beej bo raha tha Geelani  (From Aligarh to England Geelani sowed the seeds of terrorism)  Rashtriya Sahara, Dec 18, 2001: Sujit Thakur

2001 Parliament attacks:

2001 Parliament attacks 'Terror suspect frequent visitor to Pak mission' The Hindustan Times, Dec 21, 2001: Swati Chaturvedi "During interrogation, Geelani has admitted that he had made frequent calls to Pakistan and was in touch with militants belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed...Geelani said that he had been provided with funds by some members of the Jaish and told to buy two flats that could be used in militant operations.“ 'Person of the Week' Sunday Times of India, Dec 23, 2001: "A cellphone proved his undoing. Delhi University's Syed A.R. Geelani was the first to be arrested in the December 13 case—a shocking reminder that the roots of terrorism go far and deep...“ Zee TV trumped them all. It produced a film called December 13th, a 'docudrama' that claimed to be the 'truth based on the police chargesheet'

2001 Parliament attacks:

2001 Parliament attacks It found absolutely no evidence to link Geelani with the Parliament attack or with any terrorist organisation. Not a single newspaper or journalist or TV channel has seen fit to apologise to Geelani for their lies


Conclusion There is a delicate relationship between the media and terrorism Free speech and free media- the basic values of any democracy provide terrorists the publicity they need to inform the public about their operations and goals The media are helping terrorists orchestrate a horrifying drama in which the terrorists and their victims are the main actors, creating a spectacle of tension and agony The media becomes part of it, adding to the drama


Conclusion Modern terrorists seek access to the media by committing acts that closely fit news agencies’ definition of news For the prime reason of not endangering lives, the media should refrain from live coverage of terrorist activities. This is especially true when attempts are carried out to free hostages The media need to be accountable for the consequences of their coverage The media should not jeopardize lives


Conclusion The media are advised to co-operate with the government when human lives are at a stake in order to bring a peaceful end to the terrorist episode The media should not glorify acts of terror The media should refrain from sensational and panicky headlines, inflammatory words and from needless repletion of photos from bloody scenes The media must not pay terrorists or receive payment from them


Conclusion The media are not advised to mediate between the government and the terrorists The media must refrain from making speculations


Acknowledgement Media Coverage of Acts of Terrorism: Troubling Episodes and Suggested Guidelines, Raphael Cohen-Almagor, University of Haifo Michael A. Bozarth, Ph.D. , Department of Psychology, University at Buffalo Various videos of the coverage and the incidences


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