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Sensationalized News? Patterns of Language Use on the Terrorism News Beat

Critics say journalists who cover the terrorism news beat use negative and extreme language in their reporting to intimidate audiences and that this tendency has gotten worse since the 9/11 attacks. However, Political Science Professor at Simon Fraser University Aaron Hoffman’s newest research finds that does not hold true. Using language from terrorism beat articles from top newspapers between 1997 and 2014, Hoffman’s research showed that journalists use a minimal number of negative and positive words in writing, and the ones they do use tend to have moderate connotations. Hoffman will present his latest work on terrorism news beat that will be included in a forthcoming book, The Terrorism News Beat: Professionalism, Profit, and the Press, published by the University of Michigan Press. 

Hoffman is an expert on international security issues, focusing on the scientific study of emotions and mass media in terrorism, counterterrorism, and foreign policy. He has been invited to present his work in the United States and Europe served as part of a scholarly advisory group to the U.S. Air Force and participated in a workshop on Middle East politics run by the Israeli government.

Tuesday, February 27 at 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Howard H. Baker Jr. School of Public Policy and Public Affairs, Toyota Auditorium 1640 Cumberland Ave.

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Lectures & Presentations


Humanities & Social Sciences, Law & Policy, Communication & Information


Current Students, Faculty & Staff, General Public

Baker School of Public Policy and Public Affairs, Center for National Security & Foreign Affairs
Contact Name

Patricia Contic

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