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The Media Coverage of Terrorist Acts in Democratic Countries – between the Freedom of Press and National Security

Student: Liana Faizova

Supervisor: Mikhail Mironyuk

Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences

Educational Programme: Applied Politics (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2018

While trying to understand why even developed democratic countries seem defenceless in the face of terrorist acts, we pay attention to one of the main components of democracy - freedom of press. We suppose that free coverage of terrorism in media can also contribute to the increase of terrorist threat in democratic countries. The media are unintentionally used as an instrument in the hands of terrorists that provides criminals with publicity, disseminates fear and panic in society, attracts sympathizers to terrorist groups, and thus lets terrorists achieve their goals. Having proved our hypothesis with regression analysis, we attempt at suggesting possible measures that could ensure the positive contribution of the media in the fight against terrorism. We believe that an absolute freedom of the press coverage of terrorism as well as a strict regulation of media in this sphere involve too many potential risks and dangers for democracies. In this case self-regulation by journalists themselves seems to be the most relevant measure.

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