What Role for Media in Security Crises?

Kappis, Vassilis (Bill) (2019) What Role for Media in Security Crises? In: Media, Freedom of Speech, and Democracy in the EU and Beyond. Research Paper 10 . Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel, pp. 141-154. ISBN 978-965-7440-08-7

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The chapter examines the impact of media on public opinion and leadership decision-making during security crises. Leaders pay particular attention to media outlets during crises in an effort to collect as much information as possible from open sources. While intelligence from state services and allies plays a crucial role in reaching decisions, the impact of electronic and social media in shaping leadership perceptions is increasingly hard to ignore. The fact that governments have access to “accurate” intelligence should mitigate, in principle, the danger of misperception arising from erroneous media reports. Nevertheless, we have no way of limiting the potential “contamination” of leadership perceptions by inaccurate media information. Intelligence, after all, may be inconclusive, and intelligence assessments could themselves be affected by factors such as hostile images of the “other” engineered by the media. But the media’s independence is being gradually compromised, with the post-Cold War trend being particularly revealing. From the “CNN effect” of the 1990s to the “War on Terror” campaign in the 2000s and the Hybrid Warfare doctrines of the 2010, it becomes increasingly evident that governments aspire to “weaponise” information so as to achieve their military objectives. Maintaining, therefore, accurate perceptions in an environment where disinformation, fake news, and propaganda are pervasive is a demanding task. As a result, governments will have to exercise effective oversight across media outlets in the future in order to ensure that public opinion and leadership perceptions are unaffected by disinformation and propaganda campaigns. With more governments engaging into the “weaponisation” of media, however, it is up to media professionals and journalists to defend their field and ensure that global audiences have access to impartial coverage of security crises.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Security crises; media;
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Divisions: School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Economics
Depositing User: Bill Kappis
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2019 10:36
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2019 10:36
URI: http://bear.buckingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/422

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