Thursday, June 15, 2006

Coverage of terror and its effects

So far, I've only read an unsatisfying write-up of a study (downloadable here) of the impact of media coverage and terror attacks. The upshot? That coverage actually prompts more attacks. The "how," unfortunately is not explained.

"Both the media and terrorists benefit from terrorist incidents," their study contends. Terrorists get free publicity for themselves and their cause. The media, meanwhile, make money "as reports of terror attacks increase newspaper sales and the number of television viewers."


The results, they said, were unequivocal: Coverage caused more attacks, and attacks caused more coverage -- a mutually beneficial spiral of death that they say has increased because of a heightened interest in terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001.

I know this piece of information will be seized upon by the anti-media goons. But my question to them, as always, is this: if you believe the media should not report on terror attacks, what would you have done on Sept. 11, 2001? And would you not cover, say, the death of less than 10 from a terror attack? 20? 100?

Such is the conundrum.

More after I read the paper.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 9:55 AM

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