Can News Draw Blood? The Impact of Media Coverage on the Number and Severity of Terror Attacks

14 Pages Posted: 26 May 2016

See all articles by Klaus B. Beckmann

Klaus B. Beckmann

Helmut-Schmidt-Universitaet

Ralf Dewenter

University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg - Department of Economics

Tobias Thomas

Media Tenor International

Date Written: May 23, 2016

Abstract

Using a new data set that captures the share of reporting on terrorism, we explore the nexus between terrorist attacks and the news. It turns out that terrorism mainly influences news reports through the number of incidents. Regarding the reverse causality, we provide evidence that the share of the news devoted to terrorism Granger-causes further terrorist activities. However, short-run and medium-run effects differ: in the short run media coverage on terror only has an impact on the severity of terror attacks, while it affects the number of terror attacks in the long haul. These observations are consistent with the idea of competition between terrorist groups.

Keywords: Terrorism, Media, News Reporting

JEL Classification: D74, B25

Suggested Citation

Beckmann, Klaus B. and Dewenter, Ralf and Thomas, Tobias, Can News Draw Blood? The Impact of Media Coverage on the Number and Severity of Terror Attacks (May 23, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2783873 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2783873

Klaus B. Beckmann (Contact Author)

Helmut-Schmidt-Universitaet ( email )

Holstenhofweg 85
Hamburg, 22043
Germany

Ralf Dewenter

University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg - Department of Economics ( email )

Holstenhofweg 85
Hamburg, 22043
Germany

Tobias Thomas

Media Tenor International ( email )

Alte Jonastr. 48
Lake Z├╝rich, 8640
Switzerland

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