Student Review: Media and Terrorism: Global Perspectives

February 23, 2012

Editors: Des Freedman and Daya Kishan Thussu

Edition: First

Publisher: Sage

Pages: 336

Price: £75.00 and £26.99

ISBN: 9781446201572 and 1589

After their 2003 book for Sage, War and the Media: Reporting Conflict 24/7, Des Freedman and Daya Kishan Thussu have joined forces once again to edit an explosive collection of essays intended to help students, academics and possibly practitioners to contextualise and make sense of the politics/media nexus. This time, the focus is particularly on the renewed - at least in discursive terms - practice of political violence, terrorism and on the role of the conventional and new media in shaping our perception of the issue.

Marking the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the global War on Terror, the authors have embarked on the task of realigning the narratives on terrorism that have been skewed towards Anglo-American perspectives and perceptions and away from those parts of the world that have been most affected, including South Asia, Russia, the Middle East and Australia.

Those familiar with the topic will immediately recognise the names of well-respected scholars from the Anglo-American paradigm, including David Miller, Greg Philo and Philip Seib, among the contributors. However, the book goes further in offering a truly global perspective, with contributions by academics, researchers and journalists from geographical backgrounds ranging from the Scandinavian countries to the Middle East and Russia, and with research interests as wide-ranging as the games, film and media industries and peace journalism and cultural studies.

Drawing on these diverse perspectives, the book comes well equipped with the tools needed to unravel the media-terrorism-politics triangle. To mention just the most compelling, those include semiotics (Lena Jayyusi), political theory (Christian Fuchs), inter-sector approaches (Toby Miller, Oliver Boyd-Barrett, David Herrera and Jim Baumann), controversial comparative analysis (Justin Lewis), and the first-hand experiences recounted by journalists Dahr Jamail and Danny Schechter.

Although the eclectic approach that drives the narrative of the book ensures the engagement of the reader, sometimes it also takes the discourse away from the main theme. Some chapters offer interesting digressions that provide food for thought and serve to help develop arguments, but they also require more attention from the reader in order to maintain the principal thread.

This text is particularly recommended for those who have previous knowledge of the controversies surrounding the media representation of war and who are looking for further critical analysis. It is also recommended for those who are engaged with the growing literature on public diplomacy. In fact, although public diplomacy is not the book’s main theme, it constitutes a nuanced leitmotif throughout the collection.

Who is it for? Students familiar with the topic.

Presentation: Well structured.

Would you recommend it? Highly.

Recommended

The Modern State

Author: Christopher Pierson

Edition: Third

Publisher: Routledge/Taylor and Francis

Pages: 224

Price: £85.00 and £23.99

ISBN: 9780415587617 and 7624

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