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NCJ Number: 62604 Find in a Library
Title: NEW BRAND OF TERRORISM - SCENARIO REALITY
Journal: NATION  Volume:218  Issue:13  Dated:(MARCH 30, 1974)  Pages:392-394
Author(s): D SMITH
Corporate Author: Nation Associates, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1974
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: Nation Associates, Inc
New York, NY 10014
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE MANIPULATION OF THE NEWS MEDIA BY TERRORISTS AND CRIMINALS IS EXAMINED WITH EMPHASIS ON THE KIDNAPPING OF PATRICIA HEARST AND SUBSEQUENT PRESS AND TELEVISION COVERAGE.
Abstract: THE MEDIA RESPONSE TO THE KIDNAPPING OF PATRICIA HEARST BY THE SYMBIONESE LIBERATION ARMY (SLA) INDICATES THE EFFECTIVENESS OF A NEW BREED OF TERRORISM. UNLIKE PREVIOUS GROUPS, SUCH AS THE STUDENTS FOR A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY, THE NEW TERRORISTS ARE HIGHLY SOPHISTICATED IN THEIR USE OF THE PRESS AND TELEVISION. THEY OPERATE IN SMALL GROUPS WHICH ARE DIFFICULT TO INFILTRATE, AND THEY RELY ON DRAMATIC PUBLICITY TO ATTRACT THE ATTENTION AND FASCINATION OF MILLIONS OF CITIZENS. IN THE HEARST CASE, THE PRINT AND BROADCAST MEDIA HELPED FOSTER THE IMAGE THAT THE KIDNAPPERS SOUGHT. WITHOUT ANALYSIS OR EXTENSIVE COMMENTARY, THE MEDIA DISTRIBUTED THE COMMUNIQUES OF THE SLA AND PUBLICIZED THE FOOD DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM ORGANIZED AT THE DEMAND OF THE SLA. THE EFFECT OF SUCH PUBLICITY WAS TO NEUTRALIZE MUCH OF THE PUBLIC'S NORMAL REVULSION TO A LURID CRIME. INDEED, ANY HORROR OVER THE VIOLENT KIDNAPPING WAS REPLACED BY A CURIOSITY FOR THE UNFOLDING DRAMA. IN SAN FRANCISCO, THE MASSIVE COVERAGE AMPLIFIED THE SITUATION OF MISS HEARST AND GAVE AUTHENTICITY TO THE CLAIMS OF HER KIDNAPPERS. THE MEDIA HAVE BEEN POWERFUL FORCES IN ENCOURAGING SOCIAL FERMENT IN THE UNITED STATES BY PROVIDING PUBLICITY TO PROTESTS, RIOTS, AND CRIMES. THE ACTION-OBSESSED GROUPS GET MEDIA COVERAGE AND THE PEACEFUL CITIZENS DO NOT. INDEED, THE PUBLICITY SEEKING OF THE EXTREME GROUPS SUGGESTS THE OPERATION OF UNSTABLE PERSONALITIES, WITH INCREASING EVIDENCE THAT MANY 'POLITICAL' CRIMES ARE CARRIED OUT BY THE MENTALLY DISTURBED. NO REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (TWK)
Index Term(s): Kidnapping; Media coverage; Personality; Press relations; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Symbionese Liberation Army
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62604

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