Researchers identify difficulties in balancing terrorism media coverage
We all know terrorism when we see it or so we would hope, although it take many disparate forms. One aspect of the response is the media coverage of such happenings. Writing in the International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies, a team from Indonesia discusses the urgency of media coverage of terrorism.
Wenly Lolong and Adensi Timomor of the Department of Law at the Universitas Negeri Manado, suggest that the very nature of terrorism feeds on media coverage. However, while people have a right to be informed of what is happening locally and on a global scale, the team suggests that in Indonesia there is a need for regulation to avoid promoting the terrorist cause through discussion in the media.
The researchers suggest that media coverage perpetuates terrorism by providing a platform for the perpetrators to share their tragic world view through violence. The greater the media coverage, the more likely a new recruit to the cause might be found whether they act as a so-called "lone wolf" or become part of a large terrorist "organization." Either way, new criminality is generated by the activity of the mass media, the team suggests.
In their research, they explore the reasons that the media covers terrorist activity in the first place and how this coverage might be regulated without impeding the public's guarantee of the right to information and press freedom.
"The right of information must not be above the right to live safely and peacefully in the country," the team concludes.