Author Archive

The “360 Degree Threat” – A response to Hurt Locker

The 360 Degree Threat

“Sarver, 33, in wraparound shooting shades that make his baby face look even younger, takes a second to consider the possibilities: Is it real or a decoy to lure him into the kill zone of a second bomb? Is it a hoax designed only to pull him into the shooting range of a sniper? Is it wired to a mine or daisy-chained to a series of IEDs? Is it wired at all or remote-controlled? Is it on a mechanical timer ticking down? Wired in a collapsible circuit that will trigger the explosion when he cuts it? He runs back to his truck, a few inches of bellyfat moving under his uniform. He keeps his time on the ground to a minimum because it is impossible to tell whether that Iraqi in the dark suit with the cell phone is calling his wife or transmitting Sarver’s position to a sniper team. This is a job so dangerous that bomb techs in Iraq are five times more likely to die than all other soldiers in the theater.” (Tapley, 2010)

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A Greek Perspective on 9/11

This is my Pen Pal Andrew (who is a Greek college student), talking of his experience with 9/11. He talks of what he remembers from the event, and then addresses media coverage of the attacks.

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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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Education and the Third Cup of Tea

After reading the book “Three Cups of Tea” I asked my partner Andrew, who is a Greek college student in the field of Journalism, about the effectiveness of education as a way to combat terrorism. His response really gave credibility to the idea of education as a preventative measure.

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A Greek perspective on preventing terrorism

My pen pal, Andrew A., is a journalism and communication student at the American College of Greece in Greece. I asked him about the most effective way to reduce global terrorism, and this was his response.

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My Cup o’ Tea

After reading the book “Three Cups of Tea”, I began to consider ways in which I could help change the world attitude concerning terrorism and help affect change that can benefit future generations. In trying to picture myself becoming like a Greg Mortenson however, I looked past my own attitudes and mindset. 

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“Munich” – Bias and the counterproductive view of counterterrorism

Bias. The judgements that an individual carries with them that influence his or her outlook on a subject, idea, or issue. Everybody has them, from teachers, to politicians, to the Pope and the President. As a journalist, perhaps the most important skill that comes into play involving bias is when to recognize it. Whether looking at a source or using a quote, journalism instinct tends to look for possible bias. Because movies present the viewpoint or vision of the director and writers, they also contain these same types of bias and they should be viewed with skepticism. Steven Spielberg’s film “Munich”, despite providing an honest historical context in which it is set, pushes the director’s framing of counterterrorism as counterproductive and opens up room for criticism due to it’s “un-patriotic” viewpoints.

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“Terrorism” in my words

Terrorism. In short, there is no definition. To say that there is a definition of terrorism would be to say that there is agreement on what “Terrorism” is. And from everything I’ve read, learned, and discussed this semester, that kind of conclusion just can’t be reached. That is because terrorism is an ever-evolving organism. I could add a reference page and quote authors, historians, and professors all with insights over what aspects make up terrorism, but to do that would be putting it in their

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‘Bloody Sunday’ and the perception of bias

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9/11 Coverage: Filling the News Hole and the Idea of “Media Flow”

With the attacks of September 11th, news media around the world was given a unique platform from which to inform the public about the dramatic events unfolding in the heart of New York City, the fields of Pennsylvania and the Pentagon. The normal daily news cycle was interrupted, giving television audiences 24-hour, wall-to-wall coverage in which normal programming and advertising restraints were lifted. (McDonald, 2004) With this increasingly large ‘news hole’, Americans and people around the world saw images of disaster, eyewitness testimonies, and government officials along with countless other stories intended to fill the information void. Given the unusually large amount of time alloted for media coverage immediately following 9/11, the American media response became increasingly focused on giving reports that limited the scope to just the disaster, leaving out a larger context in which the events could be viewed through. American media also tended to promote a government-supported framing of the events, which in turn was either challenged or reflected in countries around the world.

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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.