The Contagiousness of Mass-Mediated Terrorism

Hans Bernd Brosius, Gabriel Weimann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the part played by the mass media in the diffusion of international terrorism. It applies time-series analysis to a database containing the Rand Corporation Chronology of International Terrorism, and measures of media coverage devoted to each terrorist incident on US television networks and nine newspapers from various countries. By means of multivariate analysis and applying different time lags and cross-correlations between media coverage and occurrence series, the contribution of the media to the reoccurrence of terrorism can be measured. The findings provide partial support for the ‘contagion hypothesis’ when related to international terrorism and reveal the significant contribution of the media, especially US television networks, to the reoccurrence of terrorism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-75
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1991

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by a research grant from the Alexander von Homboldt-Stiftung, Bonn, West Germany. Both authors contributed equally.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication


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