Author Archive

Defining Terrorism

The most boiled down definition of ‘terrorism’ is “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes” but this definition doesn’t capture all of the aspects or feelings that the word ‘terrorism’ conjures up in our post-9/11 world. In America, we rarely think of terrorism outside the context of Muslim extremists, Al Qaeda and suicide bombers despite the fact that we would only have to look back fifteen years to find an example of a major terrorist attack committed by American Timothy McVeigh. Read more

9/11 News Coverage in America and China

The September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center are often credited for ending the American public’s sense of security and beginning an era of apparent vulnerability. Before 2001, America had a very limited history with domestic terrorism. Stories of terrorist activities rarely made headline news. The general public was never worried that they might be subjected to a biological attack or find anthrax in their mailbox. September 11th changed that perception. More precisely, the way the American news media handled the event and adjusted their coverage of terrorism changed that perception. After examining news coverage of 9/11 from American, European and Chinese sources, the most striking difference in American coverage when compared to foreign coverage is that the framing and language used by American news media seemingly indicated that all Americans were in danger and that the country had just entered a state of war. Read more

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Terrorism and the Press

This blog is an integral part of a special section of Honors 394 Spring 2010, Arizona State University. Rather than a routine history course this dynamic, interactive seminar explores the interplay between terrorism and television, and other media sources on-line and in print. 26 students and their global pen pals comprise the bloggers. We welcome all to share their opinions, pertinent observations, insights, comments, feedback. Please post in a responsible manner.