skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 98742 Find in a Library
Title: Terrorism, the Media and the Police (From Terrorism, Political Violence and World Order, P 135-150, 1984, Henry H Han, ed. - See NCJ-98738)
Author(s): Y Alexander
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: University Press of America
Lanham, MD 20706
Sale Source: University Press of America
Marketing Director
4720 Boston Way
Lanham, MD 20706
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A preliminary analysis of the interaction of terrorism, the media, and the police indicates that more research is needed to examine how the media in a democratic society can report terrorism without jeopardizing public safety and obstructing effective police response to terrorist incidents.
Abstract: A review of current analyses of terrorism demonstrates that terrorists use their attacks to manipulate the media for predetermined ends. Competition among the media for profit in turn makes them vulnerable to such manipulation. Research into media effects shows that extensive coverage of terrorist incidents can elicit sympathy for terrorist causes and attract those with neurotic needs for attention to imitate terrorists' violent acts. The media have occasionally been found to help the authorities in managing terrorist incidents while maintaining their responsibility to inform the public about the incidents; however, the media often hinder the work of police in ways that jeopardize the lives of terrorists' hostages. Given the nature and complexity of modern terrorism, the determination of a proper role for the media in dealing with terrorist events should not be left to their judgment alone; nor should police agencies unilaterally develop policies for managing the media. Research is required as a base for police-media cooperation in developing media reporting policies. Research should first provide a multidisciplinary data base of past research and then examine the outcomes of specific terrorist incidents as they have been affected by police-media interaction. Finally, tested models of police-media management of terrorist incidents must be developed. Forty-three footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): International terrorism; Media coverage; Police-media relations; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Research
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.