Examining the Media's Effects on Fear of Terrorism

Ashley M. Nellis, The American University

Extant fear of crime research suggests that a relationship exists between the media's portrayal of crime and the public's fear of crime. It has also been suggested in the literature that the two are linked to public support for punitive criminal justice policies. It has not yet been established whether media portrayals are associated with fear of terrorism and public support for anti-terrorism policy. This paper will build from existing research on the relationship between fear of crime, the media, and support for more punitive crime policies and examine the relevance of these findings for the study of media effects on fear of terrorism and anti-terrorism policy preferences.

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Updated 05/20/2006