Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Kelly Page Werder, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kimberly Golombisky, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Roxanne Watson, Ph.D.


media, terrorism, cascading activation


This media analysis of the incidents in Bali in 2002 (10/12) and Madrid in 2004 (3/11) reveals the black and white portrayal of these attacks in western news through the localization of international terrorism occurrences, pro-government perspective, and internalization of U.S. policies. The Old Europe and New Europe debate further fractures the European press. Such rhetoric perpetuates the "us versus them" schism by contrasting the goals of the alleged perpetrators with the western values of democracy and freedom. Governmental sources remain central news sources during these crises. In addition, 9/11, war on terrorism, and fear from further attacks dominate news rhetoric to justify pro-U.S. policies and military actions in American and European media. This kind of news coverage that de-emphasizes context and demonizes the enemy, as well as the lack of conflicting viewpoints hinder public understanding about crises, Muslims, and the Middle East.