The Media and the Terrorist: A Dance of Death

According to PR counselor James Lukaszewki, whose clients include major corporations and the U.S. military, "media coverage and terrorism are soul mates--virtually inseparable--they feed off each other... they together create a dance of death." Although the media and terrorists may deplore each other, Lukaszewski observes, both parties provide something the other needs. Terrorists seek publicity, and therefore seek to commit an "act of sufficient magnitude to gain audience attention ... because that is the only way to reach the audience the terrorist is trying to affect." For the media, on the other hand, terrorism creates drama and viewer interest: "graphic stories ... of human heroism, human suffering, human involvement in surviving. There is no getting away from the fact that readers, viewers and listeners everywhere are interested in these kinds of stories. Do they love the media for doing them? Hardly. Do they still want to read, view or listen to these dramatic stories? Absolutely."