Governments should ban the media from reporting hostage-taking
Hostage taking media coverage, creates sympathy and dialogue for not only the hostages but the hostage-takers, who bring into light their political agenda and strife. They come out as victims/heroes and governments are portrayed as the bad guys who moved them to this 'desperate' criminal act. Governments are also then seen as weak, as they must comply to their demands or the public(watching/reading the media-coverage) will blame them for any harm done to the hostages. Governments are also judged for working/negotiating with criminals/terrorists(In other words Governments are damned if they do and damned if they don't)
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
Musharraf lost all popularity with the lal masjid crisis: same event , different media stories swaying majorities
Islamic fundamentalists were horrified that the government could attack a Mosque. Ignoring all the weapons and terrorists found and killed at the mosque. Where as the liberals were angry about why the government was talking to these barbarians in the first place. And there were the human rights activists hollering 'women and children' killed.
When the occupants of the red mosque were kidnapping Chinese people and killing people everyone was appalled but once the government took action all hell broke loose because of opinionated rather than objective media coverage.[[http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/13/world/asia/13pakistan.html]]
Some media stations portrayed the act as admissible and irrefutably right. While others depicted the same hostage situation at the Red mosque(where reportedly, a number of women and children were forcibly locked in) as a deplorable human rights crisis. While still others made it an attack on Islam.
This crisis resulted in 154 deaths only, yet because it was a majorly reported hostage situation and the conflict was flaunted everywhere, it had dire consequences for the Pakistani government.[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lal_Masjid_siege]] None of the Waziristan wars which resulted in the deaths of 'thousands' of Pakistani soldiers and civilians, each[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waziristan_War]], were given anywhere near this much attention and condemnation.
This marked the fetus of the Pakistani general/president's demise.
If there was no media involved, there would be no hype and the Pakistani government would not have suffered to this extent. The foremost reason for terrorist/criminal activity IS to be heard/seen/'sympathized with'/'given attention' and the media hands it to them on a silver platter.
Iraq, five British hostages and a compiracy theory about embezzled funds is unchecked propaganda: That damages the host Country's reputation and thus economy . And only a small group of people made larger than life, by the media are to blame.
The news would be objective if they only covered the facts and not conspiracy theories and opinions from strange and illusive leads. The media always blames governments for hostage situations , it is against government interests to allow the media to follow these situations.[[http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/30/kidnap-men-uncover-corruption]]
12 Nepalis shot and no Nepali will risk going to Iraq[[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3614866.stm]]
There are daily riots in Iraq , the situation is known to be not under control, Nepalis already knew that EVERYONE in Iraq is in danger of being killed BUT the killing of 12 Nepalis and The Iraqi government's helplessness in the situation has prohibited/banned them from going to Iraq.
More unchecked propaganda in Somalia: When hostage situations are broadcast.Two french security guards were taken hostage, 'suspicions' fall on two specific Islamic insurgent groups.[[http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE56I05720090719]] The government has negotiated hostage situations with media attention innumerable times before BUT the perpetrators still remain suspect? In the end the media is only slandering the reputation of 'suspected' groups without any substantial evidence.
An array of conspiracy theories still surround the Iran hostage crisis.[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_hostage_crisis#Conspiracy_theories]]
Hostage situations hurt the country's tourism industry
The Bombay terror attacks were geared mainly at foreign tourists( British and American) staying at five star hotels.
Allowing coverage of the event: a) rekindled the Kashmir dispute fire between Pakistan and India.As both Countries played the blame game with each-other , before the trial. b) Reminded all foreigners(not just Britishers and Americans) that they are not safe in India. c) Governments were blamed for allowing this to happen(as though the Indian and Pakistani government were sitting ducks swimming in catastrophe); the death toll was 80 people but media coverage , with constant reminders of the size of the two main hotels, made it seem as though, 'thousands' died.
Entry into India is more difficult , there are a host of security procedures that one needs to partake in to get a visa or cross the border(from Pakistan) legally. Where as the criminals were ILLEGAL immigrants and these superficial measures have not made a dime of a difference to THAT kind of border crossing. As going to
India legally has been made more difficult and foreigners are too afraid to go there anyway , the Indian tourism industry is naturally damaged. [[http://money.cnn.com/2009/02/16/news/international/india_tourism.reut/index.htm]]
Two Chinese killed in cross fire in the Philippines equals soap-opera-esque drama
apologize. and they have. But the Philippine government was involved in protecting the Chinese captives and it was their responsibility. If they were not involved,if this entire operation was covert, this would NOT be a case of 'Are Chinese safe in your Country?" or 'We are distressed' or 'You must apologize'.
"Law on Battling Propaganda of Terrorism in Mass Media."
Here is China wailing about two dead Chinese, out of four that were held captive. And Russia silenced the Chechen rebels and their hostages just by restricting media coverage. No one asked Russia to apologize.[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_theater_hostage_crisis#International_reaction]] In fact the United Nations , the British prime minister, Saddam Husein and former President Bush were all on Russia's side. Despite the death of more than 129 civilians(including 9 foreigners) that resulted from Russia's reaction to the Moscow theater hostage situation.[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_theater_hostage_crisis]]
Margaret Thatcher said "Don't show the hostages or their masked captors, don't publicize the demands or chart the progress, don't mention the be-headings or the agonies of their families.
What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve over. Enforce blanket silence and (perhaps) the hostage takers will go away. "
In the same B.B.C article(just cited) , the journalist defends the media by saying the media show released hostages celebrating.
But I would like to address this by sharing the fact that: the objective of the hostage-takers IS to release hostages, once their demands are met. Hostages give them leverage in negotiations ,media attention and so forth. Once they've gotten what they wanted:"They" win, not us and not our governments.
The hostage rescue team (FBI) has had over 200 successful, mostly under-cover missions, worldwide.If all was in the open their success rate would be significantly lower. In fact the few missions with media attention have been under intense scrutiny. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostage_Rescue_Team_%28FBI%29#Operations]]
Exaggeration by the media hurts the situation more than helping it along
The government should ban the media from reporting hostage taking because initial reports are usually overstated causing alarm to spread throughout the country and the world.This may lead to unnecessary violence elsewhere when people start taking stances for and against,which might lead to disturbance of peace and violence in areas prone to emotional responses.
Also, the people responsible for taking hostages and the government both have access to media reports.Fiction reported in such reports,which they believe to be true, might lead to harsh and irresponsible actions being taken by either party.Thus a situation which might otherwise have been resolved might grow, such that it ends in failure-most probably for the government rather than the kidnappers.
Additionally, even if the media does not re-write the events, the reports and stories by people which they report are sometimes false, since they do not take the time to confirm in order that they might be the first to take it to the written word.This was seen in 2005 when the media reported that Sunnis in the town of Madain,Iraq,[[http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60817-2005Apr17.html]] had kidnapped several Shittes and demanded that they leave town. This lead to the interim government sealing and searching the town of Madain. They were unable to find insurgents and hostages.
The public finds such cases interesting and colorful. The media that exists to sell itself, takes hold of this and makes it even more sensational.
I think that the media should be banned from reporting such instances unless and until they are resolved because they seem to do more harm than good.
Hostage takers are evil, demonic, merciless(they need to be, to instill fear in both governments and the public,so that the people pressurize their governments to comply with their demands). This detestable image is then stamped onto millions of people who were not even involved directly or indirectly in the hostage-taking nor the hostage-takers' cause.
After being attacked with an array of accusations, the millions forcibly associated with terrorists, start defending them(even if they do not believe in the cause), as they feel that they 'themselves', are being personally attacked.[[http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081206232842AALXCiW]]
the link between Antisemitism and anti-Zionism or anti German and fascist is also important here.[[http://slackbastard.anarchobase.com/?p=3901]]
A perfectly good cause may/will/does receive negative attention.
example1:The perfectly racist, anti-Semitic attitude of Islamic terrorists, undermines the anti-Zionist cause; which is not racist but largely about how the Palestinians are stripped of their rights.[[http://web.ceu.hu/jewishstudies/pdf/02_stola.pdf]][[http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/nov/29/comment]]
example 2: Chechen rebels, by taking hostages in Russia multiple times, under restricted footage ARE revealed as rebels without a cause. They want good and humane treatment for their people and Country but are instead depicting their countrymen as evil people who keep torturing and are responsible for the deaths of many innocent Russian civilians.
Can Lead To Wars after sparking hateful sentiment across the board
They make the domestic government appear to be weak and defenseless
Governments are passive in all these arrangements, it is their responsibility to save the lives of their nation's occupants and meet the aggressor's demands at least half-way.
The media thus, by reporting these situations brings support for and power to the enemy. Criminals are motivated to act. The kidnappers' financiers celebrate.
The government has 'no' choice in the matter.
Or if the government does not meet their demands, it looks as though it is ruthless and totalitarian. But it still looks irresponsible from the get-go, for letting this happen.
The media is always more critical of governments, as governments are critical of each-other.
Either way, the government looks bad. And the criminals get what they want.
Other criminals learn new tactics
In my opinion media coverage of hostage taking proves to be quite detrimental to the law and order situation of any country since it triggers similar actions by even the ordinary criminals who learn new ways of terrorising public and therefore it should be banned by the government.
Wider media coverage-Greater hope of success
Since the opposition is silent
I would counter this point by pointing out that the victims' relatives/friends are informed(at some point) even when operations are covert. Secondly and more importantly: Since ,the government WILL always be judged harshly irrespective of whether they are compromising their country or the hostages, this sense of security and assurance is false.[[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8112057.stm]]
Another point that Chile could've argued was that sometimes it is not the government but the 'media' that is negotiating with hostage-takers. And it can be said that the media does not make 'any' political/economic sacrifices, it only gives criminals/terrorists/hostage-takers their 6 minutes of fame.
However, the media compromises its objectivity/integrity and/or credibility to save hostages. These criminals can post videos all over the internet, but the reason they want BIG news organizations advertising/broadcasting them is because BIG media gives WEIGHT/VALUE/VALIDITY to their opinions. Which needless to state, is very dangerous. If THIS ban was exercised by the government then hostage-takers would be UNABLE to coerce big media to compromise its credibility.
"Day 3 – (hours 48-72)
You can now see the first set of arguments made by your opponents and how they have countered
your points. This is the last opportunity for you to respond directly to them and come up with new
Tip: Don’t forget to add counter-arguments to your opponents’ points. You will be marked down if
those fields are empty and you will not be able to add any arguments during the summation phase."--um, I don't know if this is a website glitch or if Chile has 'actually' NOT responded. Either way, my team is not responsible for not countering their points, since we cannot SEE them. Please, do not mark us down.
Improving earlier point 6, I did not notice lead instead of led before. And the 9/11 thing is important in asserting that each news organization is all too eager to be the 'first' to report ,to even bother checking the credibility of its sources.
It's all good since bad grammar is not being punished/'negatively marked'(I can stop fretting about my missing ands and non-s)
A still mysterious hostage release deal in Iraq
I would have shot this down with: Either way, the public is being duped and played by either a government or hostage-takers. The media's credibility/objectivity is at stake, rather trampled on, mercilessly.
The government should ban this, (as we have typed earlier) to protect the media from becoming 'incredible' entertainment! As opposed to a credible information source. And even with positive attention to Iraq with the case mentioned in the source [[http://www.ceeol.com/aspx/issuedetails.aspx?issueid=9995cbde-8508-4e34-a916-9a70bb0da5cb&articleId=c5a45114-6ced-4e7a-8565-8193a4f59a4e]] the source itself 'is' critical.
If governments do not want to be unfairly scrutinized nor play games with predictable/controllable/'randomly-distributed' majorities, then the ban is mandatory.And it IS in the interests of the government in the long run to maintain the media's credibility. Since otherwise once the public is 'wise to the ploy' it will trust less predictable, accessible and/or transparent sources(that the government may not be aware of and may not answer to in time) , which will/can lead to havoc/chaos.
What do you think?