Picture Or It Didn’t Happen: A Snapshot of the Islamic State’s Official Media Output

Aaron Y. Zelin

Abstract


This article seeks to examine, quantitatively and qualitatively, one week of official media releases of the Islamic State (IS). Due to the breadth of IS official media releases, this provides a snapshot upon which to better understand the different styles and messaging streams IS releases on a weekly basis. The article shows that IS produces much more material, and on a broader range of topics, than what gets reported in the mainstream media. Execution videos make up just a fraction of the overall output and are dwarfed by the number of IS productions on military affairs, governance, preaching, moral policing, and other themes. The analysis also shows that IS relies very heavily on visual as opposed to text-based propaganda, and that most of its military activities take place in Iraq, not Syria.

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ENHANCING SECURITY THROUGH COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH

Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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