Sensitivity to the use of the media

It is hard to imagine a time where governments did not use the media space to articulate their foreign policy. No matter what I seem to consume while home in the US, there is always some message attached or that can be made from the information. At this point in time, media entities whether it is CNN or American motion pictures transmit and project US values.

In Monroe Price’s toward a foreign policy of information space, it is noted that since September 11, 2001, there is an emerging realization that information foreign polices are everywhere. Price notes that there is a need for a coherent and effect policy, and gives the example of the US is trying to win hearts and minds globally (344).

Yet, what I would like to question is if this age of the media being used for foreign policy, is just a stage in history, or whether it is an aspect that will become more permanent. Even though the importance of using the media for foreign policy messages seems to occur when there is a conflict, I think that even if certain issues no longer remain, the use of the media to spread ideal and ideas will remain. I agree with Price that “sensitivity to media abroad as well as at home becomes more visible and actions to affect such media more tangible and directed when war or conflict” is involved, but like I said, just because people might not notice the media as much doesn’t mean its not there and influential (349).

Yet, it is not only nation-states that are using the media to their advantage. As Kaneil Kimmage notes in The Al-Qaeda Media Nexus, media entities are able to spread their ideologies through the media and brand jihadist and also create virtual links. Just like foreign policy in the media is more visible during conflicts, a vast amount of jihadist media products are focused on conflict zones. However, I warn and question that even though sensitivity to the use of media is not as visible in non-conflict settings, it does not mean its not they are not being influential. Jihadist have now branded themselves and are creating credibility through he use of the internet and the media. Learning from governments, Jihadist are also moving towards a more structured approach based on branding and gaining their influence in foreign policy through the media and achieving credibility.

At this point in time, it is a little scary to think of what the media and other technologies are projecting. Whether it is foreign policy of a specific government, or the ideals of an extremist movement. Yet information is information and is there for everyone to use. And even when people are not sensitive to its  importance, it does not mean that it does not exist.


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