Responsible Terrorism Coverage – Part 2 (ResTeCo-2)

Research question/goal: 

In the first phase of the project, we developed a set of normative criteria for responsible terrorism coverage and analysed textual reporting on terrorism comparatively and over time. The ResTeCo-2 project directly builds on these results and pursues four interconnected aims. First, we will adapt the existing criteria for responsible terrorism coverage to multimodal media content (text, images, and video). Second, multimodal coverage of terrorism in both legacy and alternative news media in Germany will be analysed over a period of ten years (2013–2022) to ascertain how well the coverage matches the responsible quality criteria. Third, we will compare the effects of responsible and irresponsible terrorism coverage on media users. In doing so, we will focus on emotional reactions to terrorism coverage, on perceptions of the legitimacy and prestige of the perpetrators, and on attitudes towards societal outgroups in danger of being framed as ‘suspect communities’. Finally, we will identify and empirically test communicative mitigation strategies. Such strategies are designed to help policymakers and security agencies mitigate the negative effects of irresponsible coverage by inserting messages that tone down emotions and differentiate perpetrators from potential ‘suspect communities’. The project combines automated multimodal content analysis with two large-scale survey experiments. It advances communication research by systematically applying normative quality criteria to multimodal terrorism coverage and by generating empirical evidence on the real-life effects of responsible coverage and mitigating messages for the first time.

Fact sheet

2023 to 2026
Data Sources: 
Textual and visual elements of German media content material; Survey experiments
Geographic Space: