[Answered] “Media is a very important organ to fight terrorism.” In light of this discuss the critical role media need to play in fight against the terrorism?

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Role of media in tackling terrorism. How media should help in anti-terrorism?
Conclusion. Way forward.

Media is connecting link among citizens and state. It plays an important role in keeping the public informed and safe. In a way it provide information about various issues, threats and inefficiencies of system and security agencies to the citizens. As a fourth pillar it plays and important role in ensuring safety of the citizens by keeping them vigil.

Role of media in tackling terrorism:

  1. Source of information: Information is important for a safety of a nation and its growth. Media help in providing critical information to citizens. E.g media inform about any attack, or about any warning by state for its citizens etc.  
  2. Educate: Media is important to educate people on security issues that are of utmost important for the society. E.g Loopholes in police system are threat to society. It is important to report exact number of cases and help in sensitising the society.
  3. Awareness: Media make society aware of propagandas and fake news that are used to spread panic and an environment of insecurity among citizens.
  4. Watchdog: Media reporting on public affairs and investigations into wrongdoing in the administration of public affairs is must for a healthy democracy. This includes exposing frauds or corruption cases that personally benefit politicians. This is critical especially in defence procurements that could jeopardise India’s security and interests. E.g. rafale exposure and related corruption.

How should media help in anti-terrorism?

  1. Access to the site of events should be provided only with the consent of law enforcement officers responsible for communication with the media, under their reliable protection and only if all participants are guaranteed safety.
  2. Actions of media representatives should not endanger the lives of victims (hostages) and other persons.
  3. Direct interviews with terrorists and their hostages should be prohibited.
  4. The media have no right to transmit information that could damage the course of the hostage rescue operation.
  5. The media should not broadcast or publish terrorist claims without the permission of authorised persons.
  6. Incident coverage should be objective.
  7. The media should commit themselves to refrain from sensational and panic-inducing headlines, as well as from the constant reproduction of bloody photographs (and bloody images on TV).
  8. When covering terrorist attacks, the media should take into account the feelings of hostages, other victims, their relatives.
  9. A “Code of the press” i.e. some general principles should be established.

Unfortunately it is seen that media often end in sensationalising terrorist incidents that harm more than ensuring safety of the citizens. Media should be neutral in airing views, as it is a vital link to Indian citizens. If media act responsibly and sensibly, it can play an important role in anti-terrorism efforts.

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