Communication major Jordan St. Jean writes senior thesis on war and media interpretation

Rosemary Lausier, Culture Editor

With graduation fast approaching, seniors her at Saint Anselm college are making their final preparations. However, at the beginning of the year, they had to first complete one important part of their education… their senior thesis. For Senior Communication major Jordan St. Jean, that meant writing a thesis on a topic that was of very high interest to him: the media interpretation and analysis of terrorism and military special operations.

From late August until November, St. Jean researched how terrorism and military black-ops were portrayed in the media. He looked at films such as Lone Survivor and specifically Zero Dark Thirty along with other scholarly articles to gather information.

From his research, he made some very interesting insights. St. Jean said how the terrorist attacks were a communicative act. The terrorist wanted to send out a message. The most important goal was to instill fear in us. The act of killing through the terrorist attacks helped instill this fear. The after effects of the attacks were very strong and as a result, the terrorists accomplished their goals.

The movies represented our response to the 9/11 attacks and how our country responded to them. St Jean emphasized how the acts “completely changed our ideas of the Middle East, Islamic culture, and changed American ideology”.

St. Jean, who is entering the Navy after college, also gave some advice for upcoming seniors preparing to write their theses next year. Because one spends quite a few months on the thesis, he said how important it was to “Do something you care about. You should choose a topic on something that you are interested in”.

Unfortunately, the Oscar nominated movie American Sniper, the story of Chris Kyle, did not come out in theaters during St. Jean’s research. However, St. Jean, who has seen the film three times, loved the movie. He considers Kyle to be an American hero and the film and the trail surrounding Kyle’s death has instilled a sense of nationalism among Americans.