MEDIA FRAMING OF TERRORISM: VIEWS OF "FRONT LINES" NATIONAL SECURITY PRESTIGE PRESS
Epkins, Heather Davis
MetadataShow full item record
This research investigates a critical tier in the global flow of information about terrorism. This qualitative study employs 35 in-depth interviews with national security journalists in the Washington, D.C. prestige press (Stempel, 1961) to explore their perceptions surrounding the collection, interpretation and dissemination process of terrorism news content. This study includes a review of the recent rhetorical shift from the Bush Adminstration "War on Terrorism" to "Overseas Contingency Operation" attempted by the Obama Administration. Rarely studied, but extremely influential, these particular "front line" reporters offer substantial insider knowledge on evolving trends in the news media production process on terrorism and national security. Their unique geographical position allowing for daily interaction among American governmental leadership, combined with their responsibility to cover what could be argued as one of the most influential topics of our time - terrorism - offers readers an inside view of the daily constraints, strategies and perceptions of this elite group. Data analysis adhered to grounded theory methods. Findings include evidence of new and evolving journalist routines with implications for public policy and the evolving integrity of journalist practices. Moreover, extending the published literature in the mass communication theory and national security realms, this research offers value by analyzing and describing the news production processes and perceptions - for the first time - of the D.C. national security prestige press. Reported results should also offer practitioners new insight into best practices and an opportunity for information users to better understand and evaluate what they are receiving.