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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228054 Find in a Library
Title: Measuring Media Oriented Terrorism
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:37  Issue:4  Dated:July/August 2009  Pages:360-370
Author(s): Ray Surette; Kelly Hansen; Greg Noble
Date Published: August 2009
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study compared 20 terrorist groups and 200 terrorist events on measures of the extent to which media coverage was an important orientation for the group or the event.
Abstract: The first finding of significance was that terrorist-group average media orientation scores clustered toward the lower end of the possible 0-12 score range, with only 3 of the 20 groups averaging scores greater than 3. It is also noteworthy that some of the groups mentioned in the literature as particularly media savvy, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, scored in the lower half of the groups, indicating that even among terrorist groups credited as media oriented, this focus was not a high priority in the group’s actual activities. The highest scoring groups in the sample were the two environmental terrorist groups, the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front. Five al-Qaeda groups dominated the upper middle quartile ranks (6 through 10); however, 1 al-Qaeda group was ranked 17th. The bottom five groups were dominated by various political terrorist groups; all scored less than 1 as their average media orientation score. Taking the scoring of all 200 terrorist events into account, recent terrorist media-oriented activity was linked to terrorist groups with environmental or political aims that were based in Western countries. Low media-oriented activity was linked with terrorist groups having communist political or religious goals based in non-Western countries. The single most important factor regarding any group’s individual media orientation was its base of operation and theater of action. Overall, the 12 indicators selected to conceptualize media performed adequately. Indicators related to the involvement of journalists (informing media, providing statements or interviews, posting or distributing images, and self-identifying the terrorist group) collectively did well in differentiating media-oriented from nonmedia-oriented events. 6 tables, 3 figures, 15 notes, and 42 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Domestic terrorism; International terrorism; Media coverage; Media-terrorism relationships; Terrorist tactics
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