The Media World of ISIS

The Media World of ISIS

Edited by Rosemary Pennington and Michael Krona
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 11/01/2019
Format: Hardback 16 black & white
ISBN: 978-0-253-04591-1
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From efficient instructions on how to kill civilians to horrifying videos of beheadings, no terrorist organization has more comprehensively weaponized social media than ISIS. Its strategic, multiplatformed campaign is so effective that it has ensured global news coverage and inspired hundreds of young people around the world to abandon their lives and their countries to join a foreign war. The Media World of ISIS explores the characteristics, mission, and tactics of the organization's use of media and propaganda. Contributors consider how ISIS's media strategies imitate activist tactics, legitimize its self-declared caliphate, and exploit narratives of suffering and imprisonment as propaganda to inspire followers. Using a variety of methods, contributors explore the appeal of ISIS to Westerners, the worldview made apparent in its doctrine, and suggestions for counteracting the organization's approaches. Its highly developed, targeted, and effective media campaign has helped make ISIS one of the most recognized terrorism networks in the world. Gaining a comprehensive understanding of its strategies—what worked and why—will help combat the new realities of terrorism in the 21st century.

Author Bio

Michael Krona is Assistant Professor in Media and Communication Studies and Visual Communication at Malmö University, Sweden. He works within a nationally funded research project in Sweden exploring Salafi-jihadist information operations, with particular focus on ISIS communication practices.

Rosemary Pennington is Assistant Professor in Miami University's Department of Media, Journalism, and Film. She is editor (with Hilary Kahn) of On Islam: Muslims and the Media.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Michael Krona and Rosemary Pennington

Part I: Media & ISIS's Imaginary Geography

1. The Myth of the Caliph: Suffering and Redemption in the Rhetoric of ISIS / Jason A. Edwards

2. Time, Space, and Communication: A Preliminary Comparison of Islamic State to the Mongol Hordes and the Khmer Rouge / Marwan M. Kraidy and John Vilanova

3. The Islamic State's Passport Paradox / William Lafi Youmans

4. Picturing Statehood During ISIS's Caliphal Days / Karim El Damanhoury

Part II: Mediating Terror

5. ISIS's Media Ecology and Participatory Activism Tactics / Michael Krona

6. Video Verite in the Age of ISIS / Kathleen German

7. Brand of Brothers: Marketing the Islamic State / Brian Hughes

8. It's More than Orange: ISIS's Appropriation of Orange Prison Jumpsuits as Rhetorical Resistance / Patrick G. Richey and Michaela Edwards

Part III: Narratives of the Islamic State

9. Western Millennials Explain Why They Joined the Islamic State / Matt Pascarella

10. Monstrous Performance: Mohammed Emwazi's Transformation / Arthi Chandrasekaran and Nicholas Prephan

11. Transactional Constitution: ISIS's Cooptation of Western Discourse / Jacqueline Bruscella, and Ryan Bisel

12. Terror Remixed: The Islamic State and the Stop the Christian Genocide Campaign / Rosemary Pennington

Epilogue: Rosemary Pennington and Michael Krona