The War on Terrorism is not a war in the traditional sense, but a mixture of kinetic warfare and a war of and about ideas and ideals. In this respect the relationship between government and media is more symbiotic, in particular circumstances we may even see a symbiotic relationship existing between media and military. However, in a democracy, the tools of communication are democratically distributed and democratically controlled. In this war on terrorism, the media are playing a vital role, both for governments and terrorist organizations, not to mention public opinion. The mass effects of terrorist actions will capture the media's attention, governments and terrorist groups will use the media's ability to transmit their messages. There are competing narratives in the coverage of the war on terrorism. These differences raise vexing questions about the responsibilities of the press in wartime, journalistic values such as objectivity, and the relationships between the press, the public and governments. What is the media's role in this picture? Being a war, journalists should obey the military war coverage requirements/limitations; but to what extent? As an important part of the process, both for governments and terrorist organizations, who will provide protection and how much?
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