Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Nuclear neighbours spooked by apocalptic headlines?

The spotlight looking on how the media use apocalyptic language has fallen on the aftermath of the recent terrorist attack in Mumbai, India.

Even before the situation was over, the Indian media was "quick to pin the blame on Islamabad" while the Pakistani media were no less blameless - quickly responding against all accusations.

However, the more worrying aspect was the way the global media picked up on the tensions and you'd have been forgiven for thinking we were on the verge of a war between two nuclear neighbours. Yet in reality, neither country seemed to be anywhere near that stage or even thinking about it. Pakistan's indignant reaction to the early accusations do raise the question of whether the media can itself contribute to and escalate an already tense situation.

But apocalyptic language can make quick and easy headlines. The consequences of using it, however, are not so easily dealt with.

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