It’s scary to think that terrorism seems to be becoming more of a threat each time we hear about it in the news, as terrorist organisations such as ISIS are executing extreme acts of violence and terror against innocent people. This is touched on so heavily in the news, and it might make you wonder what type of impact that terrorism has on the media. Some would say it’s just a news story, but how it affects our media is much more than that.
Earlier this year, the Japanese government revoked the passport of a journalist who was planning on travelling to Syria. You might wonder why a journalist would even desire going to Syria after the brutal beheading of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto at the hands of ISIS last year. This is nothing but a safety measure, but some would argue that this is confining journalists’ freedom. It’s certainly the opinion that protesting journalists in Kenya hold, as their government has now been given the power to stop journalists reporting terrorist activity. These precautions are certainly repression of press freedom, but you have to think what is more important: a life or a news story?
It is a fair argument to say that terrorist organisations thrive with more media coverage, as they are utilising social media to upload graphic videos, and even to recruit younger members. UK MP Theresa May strongly believes in this concept, as she has urged the UK media not to report on terrorism if there are lives at risk. Once again, a safety measure which could be seen as repression of press freedom.
The overall effect that terrorism has on the media is that it confuses us. A majority of people would say that it is more important to take safety precautions, but some would also then say that these precautions are merely repression of the press.