Archive for March, 2010

My Penpal: Markela

Markela is a student at the American College of Greece where she studies history and communication. She is especially interested in politics and international relations.

Markela has helped me a lot in understanding our class topic from a different perspective. The word terrorism is not taboo or tip-toed around in Greece and in Greek media. She says that terrorism is not at all a new concept in Greece, since for many years a group called 17 Noemvri was active, but its members were arrested in 2002. I am learning a lot from Markela and I look forward to having more discussions with her!

Defining Terrorism

Following September 11th, 2001, the word terrorism was thrown around rather liberally by media, but more recently this term has been tip-toed around, because terrorism is an increasingly difficult concept to define. Especially confusing is terrorism’s conceptual similarity to political violence. Terrorism often has both a political component and a violent component, but this does not necessarily classify all political violence as terrorism. A form of political violence is insurgency, wherein citizens aim to overthrow a government; terrorism is considered a form of insurgency. Read more

My Penpal: Chinwei Wong

Chinwei Wong is a resident of Singapore. He is a Chemistry major at the University of Singapore. Two years before beginning school he served in Singapore’s military. He enjoys piano, guitar, violin, and film photography. Read more

Nhung Nguyen from Vietnam

My pen pal Nhung Nguyen is from Vietnam. She has always been interested in journalism, thus exchanging information with her has been great for me. Nhung can speak English fluently and she has contributed some brilliant insights of the media in Vietnam towards terrorism. Here is her self-introduction:

My name is Nhung Hong Nguyen. I’m a senior majoring in International Relations at Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam. In Vietnam, people don’t pay much attention on terrorism, normal people and the media consider that topic as one of many events happening around the world. One of the reasons for that might be Vietnam is a peacefull country so Vietnamese people don’t understand why people make a big deal out of it. However, after the 9/11 and many other deadly attacks, they know terrorism is one of the hottest topics and get to know some names such as Al-qaeda, the Tamil Tigers and so on. Due to my study, I have to do many research on international news. Therefore, I have some basic knowledge on terrorism topic. I think this is a good topic to get to know one of the hottest news in the world and diffferent cultures as well.

Terrorism from the Perspective of Communication

There are many different definitions of the term “terrorism.” The United States Law Code states that “[The term] terrorism means any group, or which has significant subgroups which practice, international terrorism.”[1] In Terrorism and the Press, one of the definitions mentioned was from the International Encyclopedia of Terrorism: “the selective or indiscriminate use of violence in order to bring about political change by inducing fear.[2] To me, I find that the term “terrorism” can be defined as a means of communication: terrorism is when the terrorists (the sender) attack other innocent civilians (create an act) to send messages to the rest of the public (the receivers). These messages might be to influence what people do, to threaten others, or merely to express hatred, etc. Read more

Bloody Sunday-A version of truth

Ireland is known for its rich culture and many historical landmarks. Most of Ireland’s history is marked by the struggle against invaders and civil conflicts, which were at the root of the violence in the country. But deep inside, the Irish people have an innate love for their country and for their heritage. One of the historical events that led to the hatred of the British’s presence in Northern Ireland was the Bloody Sunday march. Released in 2002, the movie Bloody Sunday drew much attention as it strived to reconstruct the event. Read more

Terrorism: More than meets the eye

            Throughout history, there has always been the question of how to some, a person can be a terrorist, while to others he or she is a freedom fighter.  In the end, both are true.  While terrorism has gained a connotation of being negative as time has progressed, in truth, the concept of a terrorist doesn’t have to be morally evil.  Rather, the freedom fighter may well use terrorism to further his or her own ends. Read more

Correspondence with a Greek Journalist

Over the last few weeks, I have been corresponding with a Greek journalism student named Eva Manakaidu.  This correspondence has given me great insight into just how differently terrorism is viewed in countries that are not the US.  As I was talking with her about her thoughts on the September 11th attacks, she brought up an interesting point. Read more

Bloody Sunday Reflection

Divided We Fall

There is no question about it, warfare is one of the most tragic experiences for humankind. However, when considering the topic of war, we Americans have a tendency to recall most prominently the foreign conflicts in our history. This is likely due to the fortunate circumstance that the USA has not faced a militaristic domestic issue in nearly a century and a half. However, one need only read a brief history of recent domestic conflicts like those in Rwanda or Darfur to see the horrendous hatred that a person can harbor toward his countryman. Read more

Ilias Kiritsis

An introduction:

Ilias has provided has provided several eye-opening insights in particular about Greece’s views on terrorism and the USA that at times proved rather shocking. So far, he has been very helpful in providing these insights for our class and has been a pleasant correspondent. He has provided his own self-introduction: Read more

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Terrorism and the Press

This blog is an integral part of a special section of Honors 394 Spring 2010, Arizona State University. Rather than a routine history course this dynamic, interactive seminar explores the interplay between terrorism and television, and other media sources on-line and in print. 26 students and their global pen pals comprise the bloggers. We welcome all to share their opinions, pertinent observations, insights, comments, feedback. Please post in a responsible manner.