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NCJ Number: 76378 Find in a Library
Title: Terrorism, Law Enforcement, and the Mass Media - Perspectives, Problems, Proposals
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:72  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1981)  Pages:1-51
Author(s): M C Bassiouni
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 51
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Problems posed by law enforcement's and the mass media's differing roles in relation to terrorist incidents are discussed, and alternatives for resolving the conflicts that may develop are considered.
Abstract: Law enforcement's commitment to resolving prolonged terrorist incidents without loss of life and property while practicing policies that will deter potential future terrorist incidents often conflicts with the mass media's commitment to dramatic event reporting and appraisal of official actions. Law enforcement's animosity toward the media increases when the media's actions appear to facilitate the terrorists' desire to publicize their cause. As the cycle of distrust and conflict between media and law enforcement personnel continues, the potential for cooperation between these important institutions decreases, along with effectiveness of their respective public services. The most effective approach for resolving this conflict within a democratic society would be self-restraint voluntarily adopted by the media. Such self-regulation might involve the following: (1) delay reporting details that could inflame an incident or provide terrorists with valuable intelligence, (2) restrict the amount of coverage in proportion to its objective news value, (3) cooperate with police and other news organizations so as to minimize abuses arising from unrestrained competition, (4) avoid becoming a party in the negotiation process and curtail direct contact with perpetrators during ongoing incidents, and (5) become a channel for the voice of reason in an attempt to discourage violence as the means for achieving political ends. Footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Bodyguards; Crisis management; Press relations; Public education
Note: Article is an edited version of a report of the same title.
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