Deputy Secretary of Russian Defense Council Valnetin Sobolev urges journalists to follow certain regulations when reporting terrorist acts.
“One of the counterparts of terrorism is media attention. Terrorists use television as just another battle ground,” stated Sobolev during his speech at an International anti-terrorist media forum “Media against terrorism and narcotics.”
First of all, terrorists demand media attention, cameras, not money, remarked Sobolev. “Their main goal is to have certain impact on society at large, to make people pose an ultimatum to their leaders in the end. “Nord-Ost” is a typical example of this,” said Sobolev. “Today, violence against peaceful, defenseless people on air appears to be the most effective method of terror,” noted the deputy secretary.
Sobolev mentioned the following rules that journalists should abide by. He said that a journalist's main responsibility is simply to inform the public, and not make people fearful; a journalist has to take into account the fact that the entire world community rejects any connection between terrorism and religion, race and nationality; reports should not contain any information that could in any way strengthen terrorists' position. Such rules are of utmost importance to prevent mass media from turning into a “data transferring relay mechanism” for terrorists.
Valentin Sobolev named terrorism as one of the elements of information war. “Destructive effect of the informational attack can only be compared to the effect of weapons of mass destruction,” stated the deputy secretary (RIA “Novosti”)