Archive for April, 2010

A Fourth Cup of Tea – Team 4

As we approach the end of our exploration of the concept of terrorism and its symbiotic relationship with the press, we realize that although our understanding of this topic has expanded immensely, a more thorough understanding would be achieved by examining public perceptions of terrorism, which have been influenced by the press. The press relays messages to the public

How does the press influence our views on terrorism?

about terrorism and very seldom do individuals receive information from sources outside the press; therefore, public perception can help us understand the relationship between terrorism and the press. Using Greg Mortenson’s holistic approach to terrorism in Three Cups of Tea as a model, our ‘Fourth Cup of Tea’ will explore how different forms of media interpret and present the concept of terrorism, often perpetuating inaccurate perceptions and instilling the fear for which terrorists strive. We will also examine how perceptions vary demographically.

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9/11 from Nhung Nguyen’s perspective

On the topic of 9/11, recently I and my pen pal, Nhung Nguyen from Vietnam, had a long and emotional conversation. I’m very delighted to share what her thought on the 9/11 attacks. Here is Nhung Nguyen from her words:

The World Trade Center–Before 9/11

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The Hurt Locker: A multidimensional movie

The Hurt Locker is not in any sense a classic version of war movies: love story, famous characters, troop combat on a large scale, etc. It does not focus on the political or historical context. Rather, it is a portrayal of soldiers who have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: disarming bombs in the heat of war against terrorism. The film was directed by Kathryn Bigelow, screen written by Mark Boal. The Hurt Locker is unusual in many ways, including that: America and terrorist are framed from multidimensional perspectives, which, in turn, provide the audiences a more unique aspect of the definition of terrorism; and the movie offers some hope for a “third cup of tea.” Read more

Pen Pal Conversation 3: Moscow Bombings

I asked Jasper what he thought about the Moscow bombings that killed 38 people in late March and how the Dutch Media was portraying the bombing. He said that it was definitely a big story that got a lot of media coverage for the following days. Read more

PenPal Conversation Three

I decided to continue my conversation with Idyli further. Previously we had been discussing the role of facism in Greece’s socio-political climate. According to Idyli, “facist revolts were huge events.” Groups such as 17 Noembri utilized facism as a mechanism to mobilize the population in support of their cause. Idyli stated that “people were starving and had no freedom or rights of anykind.” Read more

The Iraq War-A conversation with Chinwei

Chinwei had never seen Hurt Locker but we started discussing our personal opinions of the Iraq War. I was excited to see a perspective from another country and how it would differ from my own. I wonder in part if our different opinions are the result of the different media outlets we follow. Below is our exchange. Read more

Terrorism and Gender – A discussion with Markela

My Greek penpal, Markela, and I discussed the recent suicide bombings in Russia and gender as it relates specifically to this act of terror and more generally to all acts of terror. I told her that I felt that gender is only made salient when females are responsible for terrorist acts and that this might be because these events defy gender norms worldwide of a caring, peaceful woman who raises children and takes care of her household, largely isolated from society. Read more

Chinwei’s Opinion of the Importance of Civilian Casualties

I asked Chinwei what terrorist groups were predominant in Singapore, and our conversation led to how civilian casualties affect perceptions of terrorism. Below is his very well-stated opinion. I think his idea that “hatred is amplified through ignorance” rings true. And I especially agree with him that terrorists are not just “mere killing machines” and that “it takes a lot for one to kill normal, defenseless people just to evoke terror.” It’s a very thought provoking reflection and I began to think about what in our society is to blame for the creation of this sort of hatred. Read more

Markela’s thoughts on The Hurt Locker

I had an interesting discussion with Markela regarding The Hurt Locker. Specifically, we discussed two ideas. We talked about how The Hurt Locker could potentially have been a form of war propaganda, which further explains the high praise and attention it received. We also talked about how the War on Terror is depicted as a drug in this film, which supports the idea that the film could be war propaganda. Read more

Oklahoma City Trip – What is Terrorism?

Here’s a quick collection of clips from our recent trip to Oklahoma City. Interviews include Mike Boettcher, a former CNN correspondent , Kerensa Jennings (British accent, from the BBC), and two key employees at the Oklahoma City bombing memorial. 

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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.