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APPRAISAL REPORT


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The Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.


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Terrorism has become a constant threat in communities everywhere. In their heinous operations, terrorists seek the most attention and publicity as these are to have a multiplier effect on the impact of the cowardly acts. They commit violent crimes in order to cause fear and terror as they disrupt normal life, in the hope of gaining attention for a cause. Charged with the responsibility of providing information about events in society, media access to information is a critical need, particularly when the safety, security and survival of the members of the public are threatened. Considering the fact that the aim of terrorists is to seek attention and free publicity in order to create fear and dread, the media’s role in reporting acts of terrorism becomes a delicate act because while the media are obligated to provide news and information, they could be manipulated or otherwise roped into the terrorists' nefarious schemes. Perhaps the most important question that emerges from media coverage of terrorists' acts is whether detailed gaffer to gaffer coverage of terrorists’ acts encourages further violence or promotes the terrorists agenda. There is also the question of whether the media can fall victims of terrorists machinations and become accomplices as terrorists seek cheap publicity. Do the media in their reporting magnify and emphasize the threats and fear instead, thus further emboldening terrorists? Terrorists, governments, and the media see the functions, roles and responsibilities of the media when covering terrorists events from differing and often competing perspectives. Such perspectives drive behaviour during terrorists incidents often resulting in both tactical and strategic gains to the terrorists operation and the overall terrorists cause.


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Journalists and security officers take cover at the Westgate Shopping Mall.


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Local and international journalists camping at the westagate shopping mall following the terror attack.


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Decency and human respect prescribe that the authorities must first notify the families about their loss before mentioning the victims' names on the airwaves, never mind showing their pictures. A qualified senior editor, with experience in covering such bloody scenes, should monitor the photos prior to their broadcast (Almagor, 2005)


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A journalist reporting live from the Westgate Shopping Mall.


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Photo Colour Frequency Percent Valid Percent

Valid Coloured Black & White Total

383 53 436

87.8 12.2 100.0

87.8 12.2 100.0


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Main Subject Frequency Rescue personnel Injured persons Crowd/public Government Officials media personnel Other scenes

Percent

Valid Percent

18.1 32.8 2.8 5.7 4.6 35.8 .2 100.0

18.1 32.8 2.8 5.7 4.6 35.8 .2 100.0

79 143 12 25 20 156 1 436

Total

Warning over photos used Frequency Valid

Percent

Valid Percent

Yes

1

.2

.2

NO

75

17.2

17.2

N/A

360

82.6

82.6

Total

436

100.0

100.0


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Does the Photo have a caption Frequency Percent Valid Percent Yes

229

52.5

52.5

NO

207

47.5

47.5

Total

436

100.0

100.0

Inaccurate 4%

Accurate 96%

Yes NO Total

Frequency 4 432 436

Percent Valid Percent 9 9 99.1 99.1 100.0 100.0


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Treatment of subjects in the photo Dignified treatment Undignified treatment 9% 91%

Accurate and Comprehensive Treatment Yes 5% No

95%

Frequency Percent Valid Percent

Yes NO Total

2 434 436

.5 99.5 100.0

.5 99.5 100.0


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Kenya Defence Forces soldiers patrol the Westgate Shopping Mall vicinity.


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Aiding terrorists in media coverage


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General Service Unit personnel take positions at the Westgate Shopping Mall.


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Adherence to ethics: The Media Council of Kenya members addressing the press at the Westgate Shopping Mall.


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Coverage of westgate report 25 march 2014