Posted: September 17th, 2017

ISIS and the media

“For all intents and purposes ISIS is the first terrorist group in the world to

effectively use social media and digital communications to promote itself. From a

distributed web of radicals across the Middle East and further afield, the group has

managed to leverage these new media networks to gain followers, broadcast victories

and terrify opponents into submission.” (“Meet ISIS, the terrorists who tweet,” Versus
n.d.)

Terrorism is as much a communication phenomenon as it is a political or military one.

The terrorist group ISIS, waging war in Syria and Iraq, represents an unprecedented

fusion of terrorism and communication. In its propaganda, ISIS uses sophisticated and

slick productions and social media to get its message out to terrorize its enemies and

attract sympathizers.

• How does the concept of the “risk society” help us to explain the nature and

consequences of terrorism? How does terrorism, as a form of crisis and a cultural

phenomenon, relate to media, and how does understanding that relationship help us to

make better sense of terrorism?

• Draw on Cottle to understand the nature of how we view crisis in news media, Street

to think about the nature of power as it relates to mass media, and use ISIS and or

other examples in your analysis.

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