In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Lauren Williams examines Islamic State’s use of the Western media to disseminate its propaganda. Williams argues mainstream media outlets have a responsibility to treat Islamic State-produced material more critically, expose the weaknesses of its messages, and place greater effort into counter-messaging.
- Islamic State’s media arm has a clearly defined strategy to manipulate the mainstream media to serve its propaganda objectives.
- A more critical view of Islamic State’s claims and propaganda is needed to limit the effectiveness of the group’s messages.
- The role of the media, as well as the stories of returnees and defectors, as a platform for counter-messaging has been underutilised.