Interest In Terrorism Keeps It Alive

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Since the Payson Roundup's coverage is 100 percent local, you could read our newspaper and never know the turbulent state of the world outside of the Rim Country.

Which is why it might seem strange that I am about to talk to you about terrorism.

If the Roundup is your only source of information, water shortages, zoning changes and teacher salaries might seem like the most urgent things happening in the world today.

But turn on the television or pick up any metro newspaper and you'll hear the sound bites and see the pages splattered with stories of violence.

I picked up The Arizona Republic this morning and saw two stories about suicide bombings within the first four pages.

I read the story about the one-year anniversary of the London transit system bombing and, below it, the story of a suicide bomber targeting pilgrims in southern Iraq.

The stories were hardly earth-shattering. It seems anymore that newscasts are not complete unless they include a mention of a bomb going off in some public place -- taking lives and advancing political agendas.

On some level I am numb to the coverage because it is so prevalent, but on another level it angers me every time I see a terrorist getting ink or airtime.

On Sept. 10, 2001, I was stepping out of a taxi on my way home from work in Istanbul, Turkey. It was 5:30 p.m. at the crowded city center when I heard a pop and the sound of twisting metal. The air filled with smoke and everyone froze. Glass covered the streets.

A man, strapped with explosives, had just set himself off in front of a police kiosk.

A group of activists trying to bring international attention to the state of Turkish prisons took responsibility for the bombing. I'm sure they hoped the violence would get them press around the world.

Instead, the world woke up the next day to Sept. 11, 2001 and an even larger terrorist attack.

The press looked away from our little Istanbul suicide bombing. When their act didn't make headlines anywhere in the world, those terrorists lost.

Every time I read an article about a suicide bombing or see terrorism getting any publicity at all, I can't help but think that the best way to take away their power and their thirst for pointless violence is to look away.

The more press they get, the more power they have.

In a way, this has nothing to do with the Roundup, because we do not cover these things. But it has everything to do with our readers who I know are exposed to these stories every day.

From my position as your editor, I would like to encourage you to look away from press coverage of terrorism.

Show no interest. Change channels. Flip the page.

Stop feeding the violence.

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