One year after 9.11 Anders Behring Breivik, has told the police that he started on the process he fulfilled this weekend. During the last nine years he has meticulously been planning mass murder. In his now far spread manifest he explains how Norwegian investigative journalists and their yearly conference could be a natural soft target with its annual 600 participants.
On Friday the building I was working in shook from the explosion, and ever since I have been following the media coverage as closely as I can. Like my fellow citizens I have spent my time talking with family members, and sought and been given comfort by friends, while we have switched between channels as BBC, CNN and the Norwegian news channels. I guess the global media are quite satisfied with their own coverage.
To keep some sense of reality it has been necessary to take walks with friends in down town Oslo, and to look at the killer’s destruction. What I saw there was of course heart breaking, but it was not at all comparable with the pictures I got in my own living room. All right, it is of course huge destructions, but NOT total destruction. Take for example a nearby shopping mall, one of the more prominent we have in Oslo, Glasmagasinet - some windows were broken, but absolutely not all, as I imagined in my head after watching moving images which only showed destructions. At Youngstorget, where the old opera house used to be, very much is destroyed, but not at all total destruction, as I had thought. This fact gave me comfort as walking around. When watching the surveillance video from the minutes when the bomb took place outside VG (Link) one sees people running just as the bomb goes of at the other side of the house, but no one there is killed.
The Utøya massacre has such dimensions it's not even possible to begin to comprehend. There is no way I could even try to explain or understand. My heart goes out to all the affected.
What am I aiming for is to get a grasp on the media plan of this psychopathic person.
Obviously, he seeks to manipulate the global media, to maximize his sick ideology and what he sees as some kind of “faith”, some kind of belief. There in no faith that justifies such cowardly violence against innocent children and people. He simply is not worthy of having a so called ideology. In such mass murderers heads more important than death seem to be the manipulation of media. Success has nothing to do with survival. Success is how far their ´ideology´ can reach on a global scale. Either they choose to drop a bomb, or shoot running people in the backs, it should not be connected with ideology and faith. Rip them for the so called ´ideology´ and their actions stand clean.
Instead their actions remind me of the school bullies who always picked on the smallest girl in the schoolyard, as they knew she could not defend herself. Media however is more and more a world wide ever present commercial institution, where editorial principals are impossible to coordinate on a global span. The consequences are devastating. This weekend I have received phone messages from all over the world, from distant friends being concerned.
I am the first to agree that information in all its cruelty needs to reach viewers, and users (of online production) However, when the mass murderer is operating as a spin doctor, and we all are dancing to his tunes, the question to the worlds editors what to communicate, and not at least how much. Even though editors will almost always argue, that we, the audience have not seen what has been omitted, but they seem to forget that audience no longer stay tuned to only one channel. They look at all the media as one channel.
Considering the way young and totally innocent people have died, there should be more collaboration between the media in the way the propaganda is handled.