Next Gen in the News: Terror Attacks and Disproportionate Media Coverage
Research by a Presidential Fellow with the Transcultural Conflict and Violent Extremism (TCVE) Initiative, which is supported by the Next Generation Program, and colleagues has found that terror attacks carried out by Muslims receive on average 357 percent more media coverage than those committed by other groups.
The study, published in Justice Quarterly, found perpetrator religion is a major predictor of news coverage of a terrorist attack. Other factors also drive coverage, but to a lesser extent. The study authors note that in the United States, “members of the public tend to fear the ‘Muslim terrorist’ while ignoring other threats.”
“What was especially surprising was the sheer amount of coverage granted to the small handful of domestic terrorists who were both Muslim and from outside of the U.S.,” said Allison Betus, a Presidential Fellow with TCVE. “This tiny minority of the dataset accounted for a very large amount of coverage.”
The study was led by Dr. Erin Kearns, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama and former post-doctoral research fellow at Georgia State, and Betus, working with Anthony Lemieux, professor at Georgia State and director of the university’s Global Studies Institute. Lemieux is also a faculty member who arrived under the Second Century Initiative (2CI), the predecessor of the Next Generation Program.