TERRORIST MEDIA

After a terrorist attack most of us say, “I wish there was something I could do. I wish we could all make this better.” Well, guess what? There is something you can do, and it is very counter-intuitive. STOP reading about the attacks. STOP watching news reports about it. STOP clicking on links with headlines about it. Sounds wrong, doesn’t it? Not if you read this. I’ve compiled a number of tweets from a terrorist attack victim and listed them below. This is what she went through with the so-called press, and apart from a few clarifications of abbreviations, etc., I’ve added nothing of my own, other than this: True journalists have a code of ethics. Re-terrorizing victims and sensationalizing events to sell news  plays directly into the long range plan of terrorism, which is to frighten and traumatize the public. Teaching people to live in fear is an effective method to gain power over them. Reporters need to be taken to task if they aid in this endeavor by the behaviors this (purposely kept anonymous) victim lists below. Read what she had to say: 

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After being victim of terrorism, news organizations:
– Hacked my FB
– Turned up on my mum’s doorstep
– Repeatedly called and doorstepped by my mum’s place before she knew that I was okay
– Repeatedly called the emergency number at hospital where I worked
– Called elderly relatives who didn’t even know that I was abroad and told them that I had been caught up in a terrorist incident
– Repeatedly called a mental health Helpline where I volunteered, on the emergency number
– Used personal Facebook accounts to try to friend me
– Turned up at my house, for days
– Called my phone so much that I had to switch it off, and couldn’t access support from my real friends
– Turned up at my work, and when receptionist told them I was unable speak to them, printed a story about how I was too traumatised to talk
– Took pictures of me in public places for days after
– Used coercive techniques to get a story, as in – “if you give us an interview we’ll stop”
– Kept asking me for ‘more colour’ for the ‘story’, when all I could see in my mind was a pavement running with blood.
– Then after a week, they dropped it, the ‘stories’ moved on. I was left with memories, intrusion, without having been able to access support
– It also left me unable to trust what was real. Journalists had called and messaged pretending to be people they weren’t to get info
– They got my phone number from work by pretending to be a friend. At a time when I needed support and to trust others, they made that impossible- None of that is helpful. There’s also evidence graphic coverage of terror can create PTSD in people who weren’t even there. It helps no one.

Editors codes need to include behaviour around responsible reporting of major incidents. Intrusive demands can worsen harm to individuals. After a terrorist incident we don’t need to see people bleeding and crying to know that they hurt. They need help and support, not intrusion

There’s info @DartCenter on responsible reporting and trauma https://dartcenter.org/content/trauma-journalism-handbook …

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