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Audience for Terrorist Propaganda
Terrorism has increasingly become a communication tool between various entities in modern communities. The perpetrators of terrorism use such unlawful actions to achieve some determined radical, virtuous, and/or sociopolitical goals. The scope of most terrorist activities is to pass certain individual or group messages to the largest possible population.
The primary audience for terrorist propaganda is their followers. Terrorists target their propaganda to their supporters in the quest for full endorsement and proliferation of terrorist threats. Youths also form a large percentage of the audience. Through religious extremism, terrorist groups have targeted their messages to the youthful generation since they (youths) are more deceit-prone than any other target age group. Extremists pass their terrorist propaganda to the youth through the power of the media and the internet (Meleagrou-Hitchens, Maher, & Sheehan, 2012). Symbiotic relationships that exist between the media and terrorist activities enable terrorist propaganda to reach large populations within very short durations.
Audience for Government Propaganda
The audience for government propaganda is mainly the public. According to Von Behr, Reding, Edwards, and Gribbon (2013), governments use propaganda to influence public opinions through dissemination of actualities, concepts, and/or rumors. Just like terrorists, the government extensively uses the media to spread its propaganda. In this context, even in times of crucial terrorist activities, the government broadcasts information to its people assuring them of security to relieve them of any tensions that arise due to terrorist threats.
State and Non-State Propaganda
Ideally, propaganda that is produced by the state aims at influencing the opinions and attitudes of its people in an attempt to create confusion about the reasons behind the occurrence of terrorist activities. The presentation of facts is done selectively to nurture certain motives of a government’s interest (Crelinsten, 2002). On the other hand, non-state produced propaganda aims at controlling the opinions, behaviors, and attitudes of people through indirect means with the view of altering the status quo of a society. Non-state engineered propaganda may involve persuasive acts of violence to impart panic and apprehension in a politically aligned stratagem to destabilize the political stand of a nation.
In my opinion, I think state propaganda is mainly a government tool that it uses against the spread of non-state or terrorist propaganda. The government’s aim is to persuade people to realize the importance of war against terrorist activities. For instance, the videos reveal how the government uses the media to show people that its security forces are working hard to save the lives of citizens amidst terrorist attacks in Gaza. Contrarily, I think that terrorist propaganda targets the opposition groups that comprise people who have been dissatisfied by government’s progress. They spread such propaganda to show their audience that the state government has failed to meet their needs.
Crelinsten, R. (2002) Analyzing Terrorism and Counter-terrorism: A Communication Model. Terrorism and Political Violence, 14(2), 77-122.
Meleagrou-Hitchens, A., Maher, S., & Sheehan, J. (2012). Lights, Camera, Jihad: Al-Shabaab’s Western Media Strategy. Web.
Von Behr, I., Reding, A., Edwards, C., & Gribbon, L. (2013). Radicalization in the digital era: The use of the internet in 15 cases of terrorism and extremism. Web.