CUTTING THE TERRORIST’S PUBLIC-MEDIA RELATIONS


27/11/2016





France is in trouble due to the rise of terrorist attacks. Latest terrorist incident took place in Normandy region on July 26. Two ISIS inspired perpetrators suddenly attacked at the religious ceremony by screaming “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the greatest) at the church and slit the 85-years old priest’s throat. The ISIS affiliated news agency Amaq defined those attackers as the soldiers of ISIS.Right after the attack, prominent French newspapers and media outlets such as Le Monde, Le Figaro, France 24 and BFM TV, have decided to ban terrorists’ names and images from their coverage. For example, the day after the church attack, Le Figaro published the photo of the latest priest Jacques Hamel and captioned him as “Killed by Barbarians”. Another newspaper Le Parisien captioned the priest as“Martyred” above his photo. Actually, this call for banning had not been taken right after the latest church attack. France had three major terrorist attacks in the last 18 months and within that time; the idea of banning terrorists’ names and images was being discussed. But, after the Nice attack which left more than 80 people dead, this decision was taken seriously and the church attack has led the execution of this ban. Well, why did the prominent French media outlets take such a decision like ‘media embargo?It would be fair to call this ban as a “media embargo”. This media embargo is intelligible enough. French media outlets aim to preclude the glorification of the terrorists. According to French media, covering the terrorists’ profiles, and presenting them to the “idol-les” part of the society cause them to be heroised. Some of you may think that it is a logical decision; yet, at the same time it also includes a confession which is the incapability.As it was already written above, France was hit by earthquake of terrorism three times in 18 months. Along with these earthquakes several, aftershocks occurred. It is really hard to say that French police guards and intelligence succeed in tackling or preventing the terrorist attacks. We will see the reaction of the French society over the government’s policy against terrorism at the presidential elections which will took place in April and May 2017; however the incapability of the French government have been confirmed along with the media embargo. This media embargo is also a confession of the inefficiency of the security measures that cannot overcome the terrorist incidents. Thus it led to the decision that offers to cut terrorists’ link to the media.France should take some serious measures before this embargo, such as preventing youth population, “mostly Muslims” who shows the tendency to join radical Islamic militants. If France is willing to enjoy media power on preventing the radicalization of young Muslims, first they should issue warnings on the newspapers that are using a rude rhetoric and aggressively turning Maghreb population to a target. But they should actualize these regulations without passing over the democratic values.If French police could have prevented these terrorist threats, French media would have portrayed those policemen as heroes for sure. Nevertheless, in current situation, there is no such thing as a concept of “brave French police”. Let us just think this way; imagine a character which has got super powers. This mysterious character is perceived as an enemy by the society since they had not seen this character before; because, he would have been chased by the policemen as a vigilante. But one day this vigilante would start attracting society’s sympathy as the chase would have been put on air. The policemen that fail to apprehend him would draw a picture of in the eyes of the people. Hence, the vigilante becomes a hero for some, rather than a villain since he manages to escape the law enforcement every time. And for some other, he is seen as a villain because of his actions that cripples the police officers. Now, here is the question: What would be the reason behind the heroisation of this vigilante: the media or the incapable policemen? Ali Faruk İMRE

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