Terror in the News: Before and After September 11

Sheryl Van Horne, Rutgers University

Since September 11, 2001 the public discourse has focused considerably on terrorism, even to the point of devising anti-drug campaigns that link terrorism with pruchases of small quantities of illegal drugs. Using articles from the New York Times from March 11, 2001 until March 11, 2002, this content analysis aims to determine whether or not there has been an actual increase in the use of the word terror and its derivatives after September 11, 2001, what acts are associated with the use of terror in the articles, as well as examininh what words are used in conjunction with terror to detemrine whether or not the framing of terror/terrosm expanded to include more crimes than just terrorism. This paper takes a similar approach to David Altheide in his book, Creating Fear, as I attempt to track the discourse of terror to determine if a real historical event affected the use of "terror" and the words associated with it.

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Updated 05/20/2006