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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 156630 Find in a Library
Title: Terrorism, Police and the Media
Journal: Australian Police Journal  Volume:48  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1994)  Pages:11-20
Author(s): J Munday
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 10
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: Media coverage of hostage negotiations and terrorist incidents in Australia is discussed, with emphasis on the issues involved in balancing the public's right to know with responsible media coverage.
Abstract: Media interference in the police operation at the recent siege in New South Wales have highlighted these issues. The media can change the outcome of terrorist incidents in four ways: (1) by contributing to disorder and crowd control problems as terrorists play to the camera, (2) by trying to communicate directly with terrorists and thereby upsetting the negotiation process, (3) by disclosing tactical information to terrorists, and (4) by raising public anxiety and thereby increasing pressure for a resolution. In addition, publicity tends to inspire copycat incidents. Moreover, some victims welcome media interest, while others find media attention unbearable. The relationship between the authorities and the media works best when all work together while understanding their distinct roles. Police should recognize that the media are interested in terrorist incidents, while the media should avoid taking any independent or unauthorized action which could further endanger lives of hostages. The media should avoid becoming part of the story or giving terrorists an unedited propaganda platform. 7 references
Main Term(s): Police-media relations
Index Term(s): Australia; Counter-terrorism tactics; Foreign police; Hostage negotiations; Media coverage
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