Tales of Terror: Television News and the Construction of the Terrorist Threat

Synopsis

Based on an analysis of more than 200 evening newscasts aired during the first six years of the Reagan administration, Tales of Terror offers a detailed account of the ways in which news media escalate public panic about terrorism and encourage support for specific U.S. policy objectives, rather than build sympathy for terrorists. Dobkin explores similarities between news media and government portrayals of terrorism, combining textual criticism with an interpretation of official U.S. policy statements, and argues that government depictions and news presentations of terrorism reproduce an ideology that supports military strength and intervention.