The majority of the global media joined in with the United States and its allies in what was considered an obligation to make the world a more secure place to live in. Media support for the cause was overwhelming. Only a very small part of the global media, such as those in the Middle East, lacked the enthusiasm in their support for the War on Terror.
Even in those early days, however, the overall media support was tinted with local political, social and religious colors. This has been attributed to the fact that “While journalists and media staff take terrible risks to get their story, governments on all sides seek to influence media coverage to suit their own political and strategic interests” (White, 2002). This is evident if we examine the cases of some individual countries as examples. In Australia, the media coverage of the War on Terror became closely associated with the issue of asylum seekers to the country, a large majority of whom were from Iraq and Afghanistan. The John Howard government in the country sought to link the War on Terror with the asylum seekers to gain political mileage. The government tried to project the asylum seekers as ‘sleeper terrorists’ and criticized the media “for being out of touch with the majority views of Australia” when the media tried to take a more objective view of the situation. There is also no denying the fact that many in the media also gave in to the atmosphere of rising intolerance in Australia.
In Canada, the coverage of the events of September 11 was largely professional. The Canadian media stood up to the government’s attempt to curb the basic rights of the citizens and to stifle the freedom of the media in the name of fighting terrorism when Bill C-36 for the Anti-Terrorism Act was introduced. The government was forced to make positive amendments to the bill. In the European Union also, the media played the role of the .sentinel of private and public liberties when it strived to maintain objectivity in covering the War of Terror.