Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, terrorism has become a household topic and a leading headline for the news media. Following the 9/11 attacks, coverage of the event was played around the clock for the first five days. 99 – 100% of Americans followed terrorism-related events by watching television listening to the radio, or reading print news. Exposure to terrorism-related media have increased substantially since the widespread use of smartphones and social media, where news and topics can be shared and discussed around the world in a matter of seconds. The psychological effects of this exposure could affect how fearful Americans are of terrorism, despite their relative level of victimization. This thesis will explore the various theories and hypotheses that have psychoanalyzed the effects terrorism-related media have had on Americans post-9/11. A convenience sample of 240 college students at a central Kentucky university yielded results of contradictory opinions regarding the government, media, and terrorism protection since 9/11. A comparison of this sample’s results to the Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics revealed similar results regarding various opinions of terrorism. A Pearson correlation was also conducted to examine if any correlation exists between the number of hours spend consuming news and levels of fear regarding terrorism.
Semester/Year of Award
Kenneth D. Tunnell
Open Access Thesis
IRB Approval Number (if applicable)
Fetters, Paige, "Raised Afraid: The Media's Influence in Heightened Fear of Terrorism" (2015). Honors Theses. 296.