POSC/COMM444 - Global Agenda
Assignment - Paper #4-Honors
Due: Wednesday, April 10, 2002
Other Views of the War Against Terrorism


In the "War Against Terrorism," the United States (both media and officials) find themselves juggling messages for American and foreign audiences, as well as information which both supports and challenges official and patriotic points of view. You've heard about this from guest speakers Peter Bergen and Marcelle Wahba, and, to a lesser extent, from Martin Kramer.

Read & Research:

Visit the following web site, which contains links to newspapers around the world.

Newspapers of the World on the Internet

Look for English-language newspapers, so you can read them. Or, you are welcome to read a site in any language you can understand.

The following suggestions (all found on the above web site) are English-language publications. They are in no special order. You are not limited to these. You may browse the site and find others of interest.

The Middle East:


  • Choose one news site to discuss in your paper. You may wish to explore several before making your choice.
  • On the site you chose, read articles about the "war on terrorism."
  • Imagine yourself the newly-hired editor of one of these publications. You have been chosen to evaluate the publication's handling of global issues such as international terrorism. You schedule a meeting with your staff, made up of seasoned veterans as well as novice journalists and editors.
  • You write a memo to the staff offering your evaluation of their handling of the story about the "war against terrorism." In order to build trust with your staff, you obviously cannot be too bluntly critical. And you want to learn from them, as well. But your publisher has ordered you to "improve" the global perspective of your writers and editors.
  • On a map, locate the country represented by the web site you choose, so you are aware of its geographic proximity to the "war on terrorism." Include in your memo comments on whether you think geography plays a role in the site's journalistic perspective.
  • Include in a preface or endnote to your memo the name of the web site you chose (and its web address). Also include a brief description of the site, including information such as where the site is published (be sure you check) and what, if any, political perspective you can discover from it. Do enough research to determine if this is a Muslim nation, or has substantial Muslim population. Indicate that in your preface or endnote. But don't waste a large part of your memo on this summary material.
  • In your memo, note the perspective you perceive in your staff's articles, and compare that perspective to the one with which you are familiar in the United States. Can you discern a point of view? What is it? (Similar to the U.S? different?) What strikes you as notable about the perspective taken on the site? How is the concept of "terrorism" handled? How would you "improve" it? What reaction would you expect from your staff? From your publication's readers? From the government of the country in which you publish?

Note: The goal of this assignment is to encourage you to explore some different cultural perspectives about the war on terrorism. Please do not choose a web site of a British publication, since its perspective will be too similar to that of the U.S. If you choose a European site, find one with a perspective different from the U.S.

About 5 pages.