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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail
 



E-Seminars in This Series

E-Seminar 1
The Media and 9/11


E-Seminar 2
How the Media and Terrorists Shape Public Understanding


 
Covering Terrorism
A Series of Two E-Seminars

Taught by: Brigitte L. Nacos

Description
On September 11, 2001, the world experienced one of the most lethal acts of terrorism ever committed as hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center Towers in New York City and into the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C. While thousands of Americans were affected directly by this attack, millions of people worldwide watched as the man-made catastrophe unfolded. Through television and radio broadcasts, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet, the mass media reported the events to audiences around the globe. In her two-part e-seminar series, Covering Terrorism, Brigitte Nacos, Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, examines the marriage of convenience that exists between terrorists and the media.



Video Preview
Professor Nacos welcomes students to her e-seminar.


In the first e-seminar, The Media and 9/11, Professor Nacos focuses specifically on how the media's coverage shaped the events of September 11 and what unfolded after the attacks occurred. She explores questions such as: How did viewing the terrorist acts through the eyes of the media affect how people understood the events? How did the terrorists incorporate media coverage into their plan of attack? How did the terrorists use the overwhelming media attention to advance their goals? How did the media support the government's efforts at crisis management? How did the media help to reassure the public and create a sense of community after the attack?

In the second e-seminar, How the Media and Terrorists Shape Public Understanding, Professor Nacos looks at how the tangled relationship between the media and terrorists has helped to create today's more lethal form of terrorism. Using recent examples of terrorism—including Timothy McVeigh's 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City, Ted Kaczynski's series of mail bombs as the Unabomber, and the attacks on September 11, 2001—Nacos addresses questions such as How should we define acts of terrorism and identify terrorists? How do acts of religious terrorism differ from their secular counterparts? How do terrorists use the media to achieve their goals? What is the responsibility of the media given its central role in the calculus of terrorism?

Series Length:6-10 hours
Start Date:Anytime
Credits:Not-for-Credit
Prerequisites:None
Moderator:None
Columbia Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni:FREE
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series?
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Outline | Instructor's Background | Recommended Reading | Technical Requirements

Outline
E-seminar 1
1. Introduction
2. An Uncertain Reality
3. The Terrorist Production
4. Media Attention
5. Terror and Renown
6. Legitimacy and Celebrity
7. High Marks for the Media
8. Low Marks for the Media
9. Covering Bioterrorism
10. Conclusion

E-seminar 2
1. Introduction
2. Terrorism and the Cold War
3. A New Form of Terrorism
4. The Quest for Publicity
5. Recognition and Respectability
6. The Terminology of Terrorism
7. Terrorism of Expression
8. The Terrorist as Celebrity
9. Conclusion

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Instructor's Background
Instructor's Background
Brigitte L. Nacos holds a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University, where she has taught American government for more than a dozen years. Her particular fields of interest include
•    the role of the mass media in American politics and government,
•    the linkages among terrorism, the mass media, public opinion, and crisis management,
•    domestic and international terrorism, antiterrorism, and counterterrorism.


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Recommended Reading
Bok, Sissela. Mayhem: Violence as Public Entertainment. Reading, Mass.: Perseus, 1999.

Edinger, Lewis J., Brigitte L. Nacos. From Bonn to Berlin: German Politics in Transition. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Livingston, Steven. The Terrorism Spectacle. Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1994.

Nacos, Brigitte L. The Press, Presidents, and Crises. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.

———. Terrorism and the Media: From the Iran Hostage Crisis to the World Trade Center Bombing. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

Nacos, Brigitte L., Robert Y. Shapiro, and Pierangelo Isernia, eds. Decisionmaking in a Glass House: Mass Media, Public Opinion and American and European Foreign Policy in the 21st Century. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000.

Said, Edward. Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World. Rev. ed. New York: Vintage, 1997.

Weimann, Gabriel, and Conrad Winn. The Theater of Terror: Mass Media and International Terrorism. New York: Longman, 1994.

Wilkinson, Paul. Terrorism versus Democracy: The Liberal State Response. London: Frank Cass, 2001.

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Technical Requirements
You will need to use a computer with Internet access to complete this course. We recommend the following minimum configurations:

IBM-COMPATIBLE PC
Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, or NT
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 4 or above (Internet Explorer 5 strongly recommended) or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

MACINTOSH
MAC OS 8.6 or higher
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or above or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

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