A critical introduction to terrorism and communication

Over sixty students, faculty and community members gathered in the Teaching Academy on Thursday evening to hear Nicholson School of Communication Associate Professor, Dr. Jonathan Matusitz, speak on terrorism and communication. The hour presentation covered a broad range of topics including: what is terrorism?; why does terrorism exist?; and terrorism as a communication process. 

The University of Central Florida is one of the few institutions in the nation that offer a course on terrorism and communication, which is taught by Matustiz and uses his text, Terrorism & Communication: A Critical Introduction. The focus in the COM 4416 course is not on the logistics of terrorist attacks, but rather on the acceptance of terror groups which allows them to communicate, plan and survive.

During his presentation, Matusitz discussed the origin of the word terrorism and how terrorists use the media to fuel their message. According to many of the attendees, including John Misiano, the presentation was eye opening, “Learning about terrorism from a historical perspective helped me better understand the events of today.”

Dr. Matustiz plans to hold additional presentations on the the topic of terrorism and communication next semester. When information on the event becomes available it will be posted to the Nicholson School of Communication website at communication.cos.ucf.edu.

Dr. Jonathan Matusitz (Ph.D., University of Oklahoma, 2006) is currently an associate professor in the Nicholson School of Communication at the University of Central Florida (UCF). He studies globalization, culture, terrorism and health communication. On top of having 95 academic publications and over 100 conference presentations, he taught at a NATO-affiliated military base in Belgium in 2010. Originally from Belgium himself, he moved to the United States in 2000. In 2012, he was honored with a prestigious teaching award by the College of Sciences at UCF.

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