Terrorism Answers

Q: Where can you go to learn everything you ever wanted to know about terrorism but were afraid to ask?

A: The aptly named TerrorismAnswers.com.

Since Sept. 11, a thorough knowledge of terorrism and related issues has become essential for nearly all journalists. And as journalists prepare coverage for the Sept. 11 anniversary, new questions are sure to arise.

What exactly is terrorism? How do you know if you should call a group a "terrorist organization?" What are military tribunals?

TerrorismAnswers.com is a comprehensive, easy-to-use encyclopedia of terrorism and America's response to Sept. 11, produced by the nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations, in conjunction with the The Markle Foundation.

Since Sept. 11, the site has posted scores of fact sheets neatly categorized into subjects like "What is Terrorism," "Havens for Terrorism," and "Weapons of Mass Destruction." Written in an easy-to-digest question-and-answer format, the site is understandable for the most clueless among us and still a useful for reference for journalists who think they know this stuff inside and out.

The site is continuing to post new fact sheets. Once you've made your way through the exhaustive collection, you can sign up to have the new ones delivered to you via e-mail as they are published.

If the material on this site doesn't answer all your questions, you might want to try this great glossary on NewsLab.org, which was compiled by Steve Buttry, the writing coach/national correspondent for the Omaha World-Herald. The glossary of "buzz words and catch phrases" includes people, places, agencies, technology, jargon, and clichés used in the aftermath of the attack on the United States. The glossary is organized by topics: terrorism, war, geopolitics, religion, homeland security, and disaster recovery. It covers everything from the different between "rubble" and "debris" to Nostradamus' Sept. 11 connection.

Please drop me a note at tips@jondube.com with any sites you find particularly useful for covering terrorism-, war- and Sept. 11-related stories. Include your name and affiliation and I'll print the best ones in coming weeks.


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