Terrorizing the Masses: Identity, Mass Shootings, and the Media Construction of «Terror» (Frontiers in Political Communication #33) (Paperback)
Why are some crimes identified as acts of terrorism, while others are not? How are critical terms like terrorism and mass shooting defined and understood in the 21st century? What are some of the causes of the unique American epidemic of mass shootings and gun violence? Terrorizing the Masses considers the invisible role that the media play in shaping the way we think about terrorism, gun violence, fear, and identity. This book explores media coverage of five mass shootings over a 20-year period, examining the role that race, religion, and gender play in framing some of the most high-profile crimes of American society. The results of this research show that the use of terrorism is uneven and inconsistent. Indeed, on a practical level, terrorism is an almost meaningless word - it is slippery and ephemeral, and its utility is largely in propaganda. This book succinctly analyzes what terror means in the 21st century, how news media use the term, and how journalists can cover tragedy without falling prey to the pitfalls of sensationalism, fear, and contagion. This book is a useful text for courses on media ethics, crime and public policy, political science, terrorism studies, and communication studies.
About the Author
Ruth DeFoster holds a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Minnesota. Her published research focuses on terrorism, crime, identity and mass shootings. She currently teaches communication studies at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.