Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
Number of Pages
This thesis examines portrayals of terrorism in the New York Times during the 1990s. Using ethnographic content analysis, I analyze several dimensions of coverage including the emphasis given in articles to violence, the characterizations used to describe terrorists and their actions, the sources of information used in the reports, whether the cause of the terrorists are addressed, and the character of coverage for men and women terrorists. I argue that the portrayals focus on the most sensational and dramatic aspects of terrorism and authority's interpretations of the groups; they fail to provide readers an analysis of causes, contexts, and structural conditions that could enable the public to develop deeper, more nuanced, and critical understandings of terrorism and terrorists. One implication is that the portrayals may work to delegitimate terrorism. Second, the portrayals may result in very narrow and limited understandings of terrorism and terrorists. Finally, the portrayals mask the proliferation of state-sponsored terrorism.
Approach; Constructionist; News; Terrorism
Social structure; Criminology; Journalism
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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Sharp, Lisa Linn, "Terrorism in the news: A constructionist approach" (2001). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 1300.