David Anderson

Reporting Terrorism

Essex University Annual Journalism Lecture


Mainstream western journalists are not, of course, terrorist sympathizers. But terrorism is unique among crimes in that the appearance matters more than the reality. And because it is still journalists who to a large extent determine how many people are watching and what they see, those who report on terrorism find themselves in a uniquely intimate relationship with the subject. At the same time, they find themselves potentially affected by a number of laws that impinge on their freedom to research and to communicate. So, journalists active in this field face some dilemmas that do not confront the ordinary crime reporter or features writer.