Terror channel

I watched an engrossing program on BBC four (I think it was) about the use of existing and emerging media channels by terrorists both home-grown and democratically elected. A plausible attempt at impartial reporting was made by the Beeb reporter, although obviously the Beeb itself never came in for any criticism. There was loads of stuff to think about. I remember one hardy reporter saying “It’s hard for people to understand what happens in a news room when we hear of a train crash. We say -that’s exciting, how many died. Not usual reactions one would expect in polite society”(not verbatim). And was this very program itself simply producing another program under the guise of ‘attempting to understand terrorism’ because it’s stuff that people will watch in today’s environment? I think not, but I also think that somewhere a studio executive is going “A terrorist program? Sure, they’re selling like hotcakes at the mo’! ”
A lot was made of the TV station Al-Jazeera who are accused often of being the main conduit for terrorsit messages to reach the majority of the Arab population, to whom it represents the main source of reliable information bar none. Why don’t people take a leaf out of India’s book, who have been fighting a propaganda war against the militant separatist group LTTE Tamil Tigers for a long time. In the state of Karnataka where I lived, there was a proto-Osama (called Prabhakaran I think)a self-styled smuggler and terrorist who staged similar press conferences with journalists. He had immense popular support with the people, which saved his hide from being caught many a time. The tactics were so like-for-like, that I was amazed when this wasn’t mentioned last night. But I’m sure there’s nothing unique about any case, except for the scale of Osama’s reach (he thanks Bush for creating him, both literally and in the media’s eyes, I’m sure). Oh, and of course the fact that they can now use the Internet, which can’t be banned.
As an aside, a reporter also said he sat through many focus groups who proved that the public loves to watch violent scenes, so the news will show them.

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  1. Tracy’s Weblog » The fellowship of the ring begin their journey

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