The Representation of Terror and Moral Panics: The Media Frames of the European press
Peopleâ€™s attitudes and behaviours are influenced by their perception of Others and expectations towards them, in connection with their social and cultural context. These dynamics are strongly influenced by the information transmitted by the mass media, in their dual role as both mediators of reality and opinion leaders. Sometimes, the information transmitted can be a â€œdistorted reflectionâ€ of reality; for example, news about terrorist attacks by more or less organized groups or the murderous anger of a single individual (in our cases, a motor vehicle rammed into the crowd) often serve as a sounding board for certain social issues, such as crime and security for people and communities. This work aims at illustrating, through an analysis on media frames (both iconographic and textual), which types of representations the European press offers to its readers in the narration of certain events linked to terrorism and how such representations can affect (or not) the creation of generalized alarm phenomena (moral panics).
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