Sunday, July 04, 2004

Regarding "Execution" Front page picture, Ha'Aretz, July 4, 2004: By publishing the ghastly visual recording of summary executions or of the beheading of innocent hostages, some media have become a vital tool and accomplice in the violent campaigns of Islamist and other terror groups. Since 'terror' means "the use of [extreme fear] to intimidate people, especially for political reasons" ( New Oxford Dictionary of English, 2001 edition, p. 1915 ), it is obvious that terrorists would never be able to achieve their macabre goals without the enthusiastic or reluctant assistance of newspapers, television and radio stations, and websites. Of course, most of the terror-related events are news and should be broadcast or published, but in the case of the publication of pictures of public executions a serious medium such as Ha'Aretz should observe as much restraint as possible: a modest verbal description suffices. Without the publicity of the gruesome pictures it will become much harder for the murderers of Mohammed Da'aghme, Daniel Pearl, Nick Berg, Kim Sun-il, ( Wassef Ali Hassoun ? ) and the other victims to accomplish what they set out to do.

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