The impact of the media on terrorism and counter-terrorism

Deborah Browne, Andrew Silke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Victory in any terrorist conflict ultimately depends on two key factors. The first is the intelligence war; each side must protect its own secrets and plans while uncovering those of the other. The second is what has come to be called the battle for hearts and minds (Payne, 2009). Failure on either one of these fronts might not be terminal, but failure on both will ensure defeat. As is recognized in the opening quote, the power of the role of the media is in the fundamental part it plays in the battle for hearts and minds. Whoever communicates the most compelling message significantly improves their chances of winning. Yet the counter-terrorism strategies of many countries tend not to recognize this as promptly as their terrorist opponents. The irony of this has not gone unnoticed: many terrorist organizations are using the open media, which represents the values and institutions of the liberal-democratic nations they are targeting, for their own purposes (Ganor, 2005).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Psychology of Counter-Terrorism
EditorsAndrew Silke
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780203840269
ISBN (Print)9780415558396, 9780415558402
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • terrorism
  • counterterrorism
  • terrorism and the media
  • media
  • hearts and minds
  • propaganda

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