Understanding the Impact of Media Terrorism Reporting: A Community’s Perspective

 
48049633163_c8ecb83954_k.jpg
 

Yesterday, June 10-11, CAIR-Chicago, in partnership with Victoria University, presented a two-day workshop on on media and terrorism worldwide.

Day 1 focused on changing the stories the media present and sharing their own stories to counter problematic media narratives and violent extremist narratives that often portray them and their communities in a negative light. Day 2 was centered around exploring the dynamic of media induced polarisation, radicalisation and reactive co-radicalisation. The two day workshop was open to community members, staff and interns at CAIR-Chicago.

Below are notes on the structure of the workshops:

Day 1: Change the Story, Share Your Story 

While many young people feel that their voices are not heard and have little power in countering problematic media narratives and violent extremist narratives that often portray them and their communities in a negative light, the use of storytelling as a method has proven effective in equipping young people with skills to alter these narratives by generating and disseminating their own alternative narratives, and build their resilience towards polarising and violent extremist narratives represented in mainstream media and social media. Too often, we fail to ask ourselves how media representations of young people issued of certain communities are impacting on them, how these misrepresentations are shaping their identity and ultimately how these young people see and understand their own place in society. 

To this effect, the morning workshop will gather experiences of young people in relation to the impact media terrorism reporting has on their personal and everyday lives. Storytelling is a core element to the workshop, which will be used to help develop the participant youth’s media literacy competences and critical thinking skills; to recognise polarising and extremist media narratives, and to equip young people with tools and skills to alter these narratives by generating and disseminating their own alternative narratives. By sharing and creating their own stories, they can change the narrative and how they see themselves within that narrative. 

Day 2:  Media Terrorism Reporting: A Front Line Practitioner’s Perspective

In 2018 and 2019, Dr. Virginie Andre ran a series of workshops in London, in Stockholm and in Rabat which brought together media broadcasters, strategic communication specialists, PVE and CVE front line practitioners, academics and policy makers from Australia, Europe, Canada, the United States of America and the Middle East to discuss and share first hand experiences of the impact media reporting of terrorist events has had on their respective work in view of informing and guiding policy-making in the field of media and responsible reporting of terrorism events, and enhancing media broadcasters awareness and responsibility. Virginie will present the key findings of these roundtables, the various impacts and effects of media terrorism reporting, the vacuum cycle of media terrorism reporting as well as recommendations.