News just in: Be Afraid.

A 28 year old man was arrested yesterday after 2 guns were found in his luggage, as he entered the New York Hotel, near Disneyland Paris.

 

The man was arrested by police shortly after the firearms were detected by an x-ray machine in the entrance to the hotel, situated just a ten minute walk from Disneyland Paris which attracted 10 million visitors in 2014.

disney.png
A map from the Hotel New York webpage showing the distance from the hotel to the main park.

The bag contained two low caliber weapons including an automatic handgun, a box of ammunition and a Koran.  A woman who was accompanying the man was also arrested, yet was later released. The man’s car was also searched by police.

The man was said to not be known to French security services and the case is currently being handled by local police – not a special anti-terrorism team.

This however did not stop media reports from supporting the idea that this may have been a planned terrorist attack. I understand that in the current climate we have become programmed to jump to these conclusions, however it should be the responsibility of the press to dispel these rumors and tell us the facts. The Independent and The Sun chose to feed the rumors by using the headlines ‘Disneyland Paris: Man arrested after two guns and Koran ‘found in suitcase” and ”Man with two firearms and a Koran’ arrested at hotel in Disneyland Paris’ respectively. Both articles and another from the BBC are quick to point out France is still in a state of emergency from the last Islamist attack 3 months ago, which tragically killed 130 people in the capital.

Mentioning terrorism in every case where a Muslim is in trouble with the police helps no one. It simply fuels the increasing number of people who believe all Muslims are terrorists and also helps the terrorists. If a terrorist group wishes to spread terror they must use the press. Yes, they carry out the horrific attacks but it is the press who report on it and therefore the wider world sees it, and that is vital for an informed society. However we must be careful not to report too heavily on the names of the terrorist groups and what they want – and we must not show parts of their promotional videos, which I have seen occur on ITV news at ten.

It seems unsustainable to me, for the press to constantly jump to conclusions over what has happened, especially in these circumstances. If we continue to report upon these incidents the way we do we will only spread fear and hatred. The press should tell us the facts without alluding to terrorism because the suspect is Muslim, and they should not let terrorists win air-time or print space, instead the focus should be on those who went to help the victims and how we will not be afraid of these monstrous people.

What do you think about the reporting on this incident and previous reporting on other stories? Do the press make it easy for terrorists to spread their message?

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8 thoughts on “News just in: Be Afraid.

  1. Hi Joe, press makes it easy for terrorists. It’s just doing as they want. it’s the commercial side of journalism dictating the news instead of real informative news. I, as a journalist, feel embarrassed of what the profession has become. Where is the independent, trustworthy media?
    I like your point of view and your style.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The independent, trust worthy journalism is what I hope to bring to the profession once I start work. I was interested because you said you are a journalist yourself, may I ask how you got into the profession and any advice you would have for someone like me who wants to gain access to it? Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Noble intentions Joe and I truly hope you manage to do it.
        The problem is that journalism has been in a sensationalist spiral for many years now and seems to not be able to come out of that.
        I am in the opinion that there’s more censorship today than ever.
        Decided to be a journalist just before turning 10 years old. Graduated in media studies/Journalism and got my hands on every opportunity I found and while I could.
        After starting a family had to head on to other areas in media.
        Journalism is a love for life, but I must tell you it doesn’t pay the bills. Having said that, it’s my passion, it’s who I am.
        Advice? It’s a really exciting career, but also has very tough times. You can’t do it without passion. Write every day. Go find your local newspaper and start there; the best schools ever.
        Good luck!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not surprised. Fear drives ratings more than almost anything else – including sex. There’s a reason why the philosophy of “If it bleeds, it leads.” is so hard to avoid. Real, objective reporting satisfies the cerebral cortex, but our “Lizard Brains” have been around a LOT longer, and even the most rational among us have a gut-level reaction to this sort of thing. It’s something to guard against, but it will never really go away, because we all still get scared.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi, I came across your blog via the community pool. I’m very new to WordPress, still learning the ropes.
    Your writing subjects and your style itself is amazing for someone so young.
    I look forward to reading more!!
    Amy💕

    Liked by 1 person

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