The war on terrorism posed a threat on free press in Asian countries, for example India is known for its free and active press and can in that way be compared to the press in Western democracies but India faced insurgencies, terrorism of all kinds, and an unstable situation on its borders with China and Pakistan for a very long time, without feeling the urge to counter this with exceptional governmental powers to curtail press freedom.
However, the 9/11 marked a new departure in countering terrorism in the United States through the Patriot Act of 2001; the change in international opinion about terrorism allowed the Indian government to come up with a draconian Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) but this was changed in Parliament to allow journalists to do their work without being immediately forced to report any information on terrorism to the authorities (Van, pgs. 7-9).
In connection to the above, Japan was able to prove that positive image change can be achieved if there is relatively little knowledge about a country and if there are no prevailing opinions about it; that is to say, if the country is a no salient object. It demonstrated that middle knowledge subjects exhibit the largest amount of attitude change when the political object involved is a distance one and, no comparable effect can be ascertained if the object is salient.
Where the images of nations are concerned the mass media very often achieve the strongest effect on people who are least informed and have only little interest in a country and therefore perceive it as unimportant. In other words, the respective target group is a key to the tactics of image cultivation where involvement is low, and gradual approach is appropriated where involvement is high as for instance, in the case of South Africa, attitudes are generally so stable in that image change in anyways is practically impossible (Befu, 1980, in the journal The cultural context vol.66, issue no. 1).
In stabilizing the belligerent public opinion, the government stymies the enemy as aggressor or as a non human monster, as when President Bush characterized the then Iraq President Saddam Hussein, as another Hitler when he argued that, Saddam tried to cast the conflict as a religious war but it has nothing to do with religion per se, but on the other hand it had everything to do with what religious embodies like good vs. evil and right vs. wrong.
A later review of the news paper editorial coverage concluded that Saddam proved to be the quintessential ‘bad guy’. These accounts for key words that appeared in news stories revealing that the American media covered the war as a ‘millennium crusade’ arguing that in this field with Saddam, Bush was trying to be Gary Cooper in the climatic scene from high Noon (Kolko pg. 11). Important to understanding the theoretical foundation of censorship of the media is the environment in which military actions are taking place.
It is characterized by danger, highest physical strain and confusion, which therefore means that all plans developed during maneuvers have to be changed in real war. All is simple in war but the simple is difficult and nothing is certain. Camouflage and deception is the form and most news is false. Secrecy becomes most important because the enemy has to be deceived. For instance, during the war on terrorism, what would have happened if the media had reported about the thousands of dead the allies had expected but did not get, because they succeeded in deceiving the Iraqis by instrumental use of the media?
Reporting the truth of war, might not only give the enemy advantages but also weaken the morale of one’s own population and of the troops and therefore, public opinion, lying, and propaganda are important instruments of warfare and if journalists can be instrumental zed, that is if they can be manipulated to do propaganda then they are useful, but reporting the truth in most cases is dangerous for the successful achievement of war aims (Boot pg. 6).
Deaths by thousands in other, far less conspicuous, largely impoverished, parts of the world do of course receive media attention, but only very selectively and occasionally-precisely because they are part of the everyday reality and because, by and large, these deaths are not brought about willfully.
But we could not responsibly say that structural mega-deaths are categorically less objectionable than willful mass murders, but what seemed to me tragic about events of 11 September, however, was this: so many innocent lives were sacrificed in an attempt at least partly to make the people of the United States realize the everydayness, either on the global plane or in parts of the Middle East-of severe insecurity and suffering, but such an attempt has had the opposite effect: the overwhelming American response was to talk in the language of 'restoring our freedom', meaning, primarily, the freedom of the American people to live their everyday lives without fear, the consequence of which has been remilitarization and the spread of anti-liberal tendencies(David pg. 9) Public relation has played a role in the collapse of communication because it provided an effective means to communicate publicly across national boundaries.
Thus the role of public relation today in world politics is more important than ever before, in fact political ideology today seems less significant than effective communication, a new pragmatic model might be the best to look at global communication in the future. About what may be published may be in the hands of official censors who use their discretion about the sensitivity of particular information at a specific time.
In either case, freedom of the press is in abeyance as American constitutional lawyers generally interpret it, including the traditional reluctance of American courts to permit prior censorship of potentially harmful news reports. The ‘free press’ approach is the opposite and leaves journalists free to decide what is or is not safe to publish under the circumstances. Therefore journalist may choose to follow guidelines provided by the government or respond to specific requests by public officials. But reporters make the ultimate decision free from formal pressure by public officials, although there are always ethical mandates to be risk-averse when national security is at stake.
International public relation is also intercultural public relations practitioners and scholars naturally approach it from their own ethnocentric models unless a perspective not limited to business practices is specifically adopted (Albritton & Manheim, 1983, pg. 7). Conclusion The global dynamics of news is an attempt to locate the study of news perhaps the genre best epitomizing the process of media globalization within contemporary debate about news flow, transnational media cultures and globalization. When important values clash in democracies, policy makers and public face a typical trade of dilemma. The dilemma is starkest when the clashing values are national security threatened by terrorism or war endangering the survival of large numbers of citizens if not the nation itself and freedom of the press which is an indispensable ingredient of democracy.
Press freedom is particularly vital in crisis periods because decisions made at that time are opt to produce profound consequences for the nation and its people. Many military missions are comparatively brief with little advance planning and require complete secrecy to succeed. They would be compromised by premature disclosure especially since reporters are now able to send messages including pictures from remote locations at lightening speed. Hence it seems ‘reasonable’ to consider the history of press restraints during anticipated or actual war as precedent for press freedom policies during periods of anticipated and actual terrorism or subsequent military operation periods of ideological onslaught, like the war on terror and cold war.
Of the three approaches to the dilemma of reconciling the conflicting aspects of press freedom and survival security, the formal censorship approach is the most common which involves legislation that sets forth what may or may not be considered to be published. These laws vary in terms and scope of the censorship operations and often stipulate severe penalties for violations. The press may still be allowed to decide what is publishable within the governments’ guidelines. Literature has tended to portray the media as a tool that influences the policy process through its impact on public opinion; this might be labeled as an external paradigm of government media relations.
But in contrast a growing body of work on domestic politics suggests the media should be seen as an integral part of contemporary governance. The media can be found deeply outreached with the policy process by serving as a source of information for political actors, as a means of communication between them and as an instrument of mobilization. One of the reasons argued for the prominence of the media in the US policy process is that, when the US system of government is compared to other countries, it is a decentralized system of government. Given the even more decentralized nature of the international system, there might be an even greater reliance on the media. Media can be a fourth state, but it has failed.
This view can be supported by evidence found in the development of the modern apparatus of media management, the memoir of political practitioners and academic studies that draw on interviews which almost uniformly give testimony some times unintentionally to the role of the media in the contemporary international politics process (Alexandre, 1987, journal Media, Culture and Society, issue 9).
Albritton R. B., & Manheim J. B. (1983). "News of Rhodesia: The impact of a public relations campaign". Journalism Quarterly, 60. Alexandre L. (1987). "In the service of the state: public diplomacy, government media and Ronald Reagan". Media, Culture and Society, 9. Befu H. (1980). "The group model of Japanese society and an alternative". The cultural context: Essays in honor of Edward Norbeck. Rice University Studies, Vol. 66, No. 1.