New Zealand, Mar 15, 2019 : Forty-nine people are dead and at least 20 are seriously injured in what New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says "can now only be described as a terrorist attack."
While this may not seem much more than a leader of a country addressing her people, this speech had a lot more impact than you would think. The reason? Arden called it a ’terrorist attack.’
In the hours following the shooting, the media had reported the incident with the terms ’armed shooter’ and ’gunman’ - to describe the person carrying out the attack. The Prime Minister’s address changed that - and changed the way people looking for the New Zealand attack saw as.
It went from ’gunman’ to ’terrorist.’
A look at Google trends worldwide further highlights that point - people searched for the term ’gunman’ a lot more until the official word from Jacinda Ardern calling it a ’terrorist’ attack changed it.
The change in the spike can be seen at the same time as the press conference held (11:30 IST) where more people searched for ’terrorist’ instead of ’gunman.’ The related terms for the attack remained the same.
Ardern in the press conference also announced that 40 people were killed in the mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques on Friday, adding that four suspects were in custody.