Terrorism Framing

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Anneke Zwart
Student (University), Netherlands

Terrorism Framing

The book "Framing Terrorism: The News Media, The Government and The Public", is an in-depth analysis of how interpretative frames of terrorism have been created and how they are reinforced by the media. Existing frames of terrorism are outlined end new frames are searched for. In the book it is argued that the event of 9/11 has led to a striking change in perception of foreign and security policy in the US. According to the authors, 9/11 event caused a new “war on terrorism” frame as a primary standard to define and recognize who are “friends” and “enemies” around the world and was quickly accepted and embraced by the White House. This new frame was used to give reason for justifying several policies such as Bush’ hostility against for example the Taliban, Iraq and North Korea. Furthermore, the frame could also be used to create and strengthen relations with other countries such as China and Russia.
In fact, the “new war on terrorism” frame offered a way for journalists and politicians in the US to construct a story that justified several stories about civil wars, security policies and international conflicts in for example the Phillipines, North Korea and China. It allowed politicians to tell a simple story to the public and it reshaped perceptions of friends and enemies.
President Bush at that time certainly made use of this frame, as he said: “Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”
Souce: Norris, P., Kern, M. and M. Just. (2003). Framing Terrorism: The News Media, The Government and The Public. New York.

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