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Security World

The Islamic State and the media: A symbiotic relationship

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It is often said that a symbiotic relationship exists between terrorism and the media. Where terrorism needs the commercial media to communicate its message to either its target or broader audience, commercial media come to depend on the ratings boost often gained by reporting acts of spectacular terrorist violence.

US television journalist Ted Koppel once remarked that a news cycle absent terrorism “would not deprive television of all interesting things in the world, but one of the most interesting things, nevertheless”.

For Western media outlets, the Islamic State group has been the gift that keeps on giving. Its acts of extraordinary violence, spectacular pyrotechnics, and choreographed brutality guarantee ratings, pageviews and clicks.

In many ways, the media have played a major role in creating the monster that is IS. It now has a responsibility to drive the final nail into its coffin. But with IS on the ropes, facing a 100,000strong coalition force in Mosul, Iraq, the question is: will it? – READ MORE

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