and generate an aspiration to democracy. This was essential to the security of those whose job it was to inform the public and forge an enlightened public opinion, but also to the stability of regions whose populations were still criminally misinformed.

The media were, unfortunately, partly responsible for the process fuelling terrorists’ desire to capture attention: some of them fed on terrorism with no thought at all for ethics. The public also bore a share of responsibility, given that people needed ever-more-violent stimuli to arouse their interest. The conditions needed for terrorism to escalate were therefore present on all sides and those who used the images were obviously taking advantage of this trend. There were now images on television screens that it would have been unthinkable to broadcast twenty years previously.

aware of the harm they could do, as Mrs Reps had explained. To take the example of the video tapes again, it was wrong to show them all, or to show all the suffering inflicted on the victims, both out of respect for them and because that would be playing into the terrorists’ hands.

racial or religious origins of such-and-such a terrorist act. Furthermore, in news reporting more care should be taken with using such terms as “axis of evil”, “war of civilisations” or “crusade against terrorism”.