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Mediated Terrorism

Gianpietro Mazzoleni

Subject Politics
Communication Studies » Communication Reception and Effects

Key-Topics terrorism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Following the September 11, 2001, massive attacks on the United States, the issue of political terrorism has assumed a priority stance in the political agenda of several countries. Once fairly disregarded by scholarly research and analysis, the phenomenon has gained wide attention since the events of that day and those that took place in Iraq, as well as in Madrid, London, Mumbai, and Moscow. All of these tragic events had in common huge coverage by the media, which amplified the psychological impact on public opinion in the respective nations and worldwide. Extensive and emotion-stirring media coverage is a common feature of modern terrorist events. It has been observed in relation to other breeds of terrorism, such as the IRA in Ireland and the UK, ETA in Spain, the Red Brigades in Italy, the Rote Armee Fraktion in Germany, the Kurdish extremists in Turkey, domestic US terrorism (the Oklahoma bombing), and others. Terrorism, whatever definition is given, has been closely associated with communication and → propaganda , to the point where there cannot be envisaged any terrorism without some kind of media-conveyed visibility. The primary goal of terrorist organizations is, in fact, to “send a message,” usually to target governments, the victims being the instruments to pursue the goal. This message may take the form of violent acts, often with bloodshed, but also of personal threats ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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