A vicious cycle? Threat of terror, perceived media bias, and support for surveillance policies

Author(s)
Ruta Kaskeleviciute, Jörg Matthes
Abstract

Islamist terrorist attacks and existing terror threat can seriously affect intergroup relations and policy making. Drawing on hostile media effect theory and intergroup threat theory, we hypothesized that perceived threat of terror influences perceived news media bias in favor of Muslims as well as support for surveillance policies that are perceived to be restrictive for Muslims. In addition, we assumed that media bias positively predicts surveillance policy support. Results of a quota-based two-wave panel survey (N-T2 = 524) revealed that perceived threat of terror increased perceived media bias in favor of Muslims over time, but did not have a direct effect over time on support for surveillance policies. However, perceived media bias was found to be a positive predictor of support for surveillance policies over time. In addition, support for policies was a positive predictor of perceived terror threat over time, suggesting a vicious cycle.

Organisation(s)
Department of Communication
Journal
Mass Communication and Society
No. of pages
23
ISSN
1520-5436
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1080/15205436.2022.2052903
Publication date
2021
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
508007 Communication science
Keywords
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Communication
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/a-vicious-cycle-threat-of-terror-perceived-media-bias-and-support-for-surveillance-policies(126c89f3-109d-401a-9836-e5ebe06d1fe8).html