Authored by Alexander Ritzmann and Fabian Wichmann
Reporting about extremism and terrorism poses major challenges for journalists on different levels. This paper will address some of the most relevant challenges by introducing key insights and recommendations on how to follow a “do no harm” approach when informing the public, and particularly when reporting about violence.
The role of civil society organisations working on P/CVE will also be highlighted. According to EU law, terrorist offences are acts committed with the aim of:
- seriously intimidating a population;
- unduly compelling a government or international organisation to perform or abstain from performing any act;
- seriously destabilising or destroying the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a country or an international organisation.
Terrorism is the most extreme form of communication. It could be described as a deadly performance that aims at drawing attention to the political messages of the perpetrators by violently and publicly harming their victims. Terrorism is therefore even more about propaganda and manipulation than it is about the violent act itself. Put differently, without detailed media coverage about a terrorist attack, there might be no international terrorism, just local violence.