Economy of attention: How the German mass media handles the death of James Foley

Tagesspiegel Post zu James FoleyTerrorists are familiar with the economy of attention. They know how to draw attention, as the video of the execution of the US-reporter James Foley shows. I don’t know what the self-proclaimed ISIS movement want to achieve with the world wide attention, but I am pretty sure that the world wide attention was one of their goals. Terrorists are aware of that no mass media is able to refuse to broadcast that topic. So is in Germany.

One could say: That’s how the media business works. No chance to resist. I am afraid this is the truth. But what really annoys me is how the so called „serious“ media handles that topic. They’ve switched it to a debate about what is morally justifiable to show (for example „Der Tagesspiegel“, a newspaper from Berlin).

Switching the topic slightly, the mass media still get the attention/traffic (with they make money with) and they can claim to keep a „clean coat“ of not achieving the terrorists expectations. But they do! The debate about showing or not showing the video increases the attention.

To me this is a dishonest attitude. The debate about if the mass media is an agent of the terrorists makes them to an agent of the terrorists.

(I haven’t seen the video and I try to avoid to see it.)

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