Archive for the ‘Outreach’ Category

Terrorism and Satire

Why content is funny:
  • Satire: A literary composition in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule
  • Parody:  A humorous version of any well-known writing
  • Irony: A contrast and discrepency between expectation and reality Read more

The Never-Ending Cycle of Violence

           Barnett & Reynolds describe framing as a way to provide a “context and suggest what the issue is through the selection, emphasis, exclusion and elaboration” this in turn can influence the audiences opinions, “the way terrorism is framed dictates the way the public will perceive it”(2009, p.4). In Steven Spielberg’s movie Munich, framing strategies were used to describe the retaliation of the massacre that took place in 1972 at the Summer Olympics in Germany. Spielberg described in the director’s introduction to Munich that the movie is “not meant to be a documentary” rather a story based on a historical event (Munich). Knowing this, how is it that Spielberg framed the story line of Munich for the audience and are these historical events depicted in an accurate manner? Read more

Bloody Sunday: A slanted mock

         A mockumentary also known as a “mock documentary” is a parody of the often earnest nature of the documentary film genre as stated by WiseGeek (What is a mockumentary?). The film “Bloody Sunday” directed by Paul Greengrass and produced by Mark Redhead attempts to describe to the viewers a real life setting of the attacks in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1972. The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association had planned a peaceful, yet illegal, march against the British government on January 30th 1972 which was stopped by British paratroopers after they fired on the demonstrators and killed 13 people as well as injured 14.  It is still unclear which party fired the first shot. The British army however claimed that it fired only after being fired upon, while the Roman Catholic community asserted that military snipers opened fire on unarmed protesters (Bloody Sunday). Bloody Sunday is a theatrical attempt at describing this controversial march, how did the Greengrass and Redhead give viewers a real life portrayal of the incident and were they successful at doing so without any bias involved? Read more

Tunisian News Media?

I recently asked my pen pal, Aladin, what the news media landscape looked like in Tunisia. After reflecting on all of options that exist among American news media (ABC,CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, etc.), I was wondering what kind of options existed in Tunisia. To that end, I posed to Aladin the simple question, “What Tunisian news agency do people usually turn to?” Read more

To Make the Word “Terrorism” Useful Again…

Terrorism during the French Revolution was used to describe a “system or rule of terror” by the Académie Française (Roberts). This original definition of terrorism is too broad to be used effectively in today’s language but it lends insight into the core of what terrorism is: The use of fear as a tool.
Terrorism, in my mind, is a tactic used by relatively small groups that involves violence against indirect targets such as civilians and noncombatants or without regard to the collateral damage of, in general, “innocent” parties to promote a message through the use of fear and shock. Here, “innocent” parties include people that have little or no actual influence on the cause of the grievances of the terrorist group. Important aspects of this definition include the need to send a message, political or not, the targets and violent methods of the attacks, the size of the terrorist group and the use of fear to promote their message. Read more

Pen Pal View on Somalian Islamists

Somalian Islamist Insurgents

A few weeks ago I saw an article in the New York Times ( that talked about how The Shabab, a militant Islamist group in Somalia, had outlawed school bells in the town of Jowhar. The reasoning behind the ban was that the ringing of the bells went against the teachings of Islam. Read more

Any Human Life and What it’s Worth

I’d like to pose a question to any one reading this and link it to terrorism, maybe illuminating some differences between terrorists and other extremists.  First the question:  How much do you value a human life regardless of age, race, height, sex, etc?  Could you ever strap someone into an outfit like this?

This is certainly a very generic question and one not to be taken lightly as some of those factors play an important role in how I view the worth of a human life.  I know that I value human life very highly compared to many things and I often value an individual’s life over the success of some whole.  Who am I to say who lives and dies even to enact change and reach some utopia?  Now I wonder what terrorists might say.  How do they value the life of a human. Read more

Blurry view from the sidelines

      The concept of terrorism, while obvious at times has been a difficult concept to define, and debate has been more prevalent since the attacks of 9/11. According to Merriam-Webster, terrorism is defined as “the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion (terrorism).” This definition covers a broad range of possible scenarios that may constitute terrorism, since “terror” itself would only need to be specifically defined establish the act, making it too vague. Read more

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.

Read more

Hurt Locker Review

Critical Analysis – The hurt locker

            The film The Hurt Locker is an action packed movie depicting the lives and personalities of American soldiers in the recentwar on terror.  The movie, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, undoubtedly presents the film from the soldier’s perspective and does not shed much light on the combatants they are trying to stop. She also provides an interesting angle on individual personalities of soldiers, which clearly varies from person-to-person. The movie is representative of day-to-day life of many men and women fighting overseas. Read more

Return top

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.