Terrorism and the Media (including the Internet):an Extensive Bibliography

Terrorism and the Media (including the Internet): an Extensive Bibliography

Compiled and selected by Judith Tinnes

This bibliography is intended to serve as an extensive up-to-date resource for studying and researching the multi-faceted relationships between terrorism and the media, including the Internet. It contains over 2.200 records covering academic or professional journal articles (most of them peer-reviewed), book chapters, reports, conference contributions, books, theses and other text publications, mainly in English and German.  To keep the bibliography manageable, smaller, more informal publications, e.g., blog posts, research briefs, commentaries, newspaper articles, or newsletters, were not considered – with a few exceptions of contributions containing ideas or subjects that were underrepresented in long-form academic or professional literature.

The vast majority of resources included date from the 21st century, as after 9/11 – the biggest single media event in history – the amount of publications on the relationship between terrorism and the media has increased considerably. However, terrorist use of the media is as old as terrorism itself and has been researched since the beginning of terrorism studies. Therefore, this bibliography is not restricted to a particular time period and covers publications up to early February 2013.

Thematically, the bibliography covers many aspects of the relationship between terrorism and the media, including these:

  • terrorist use of the traditional media (TV, radio, newspapers);
  • terrorist use of the new media, especially the Internet (E-Jihad, Cyberterrorism);
  • online radicalization;
  • 9/11 as a media event;
  • media-oriented counter-terrorism measures;
  • the psychological impact of media exposure to terrorist attacks;
  • the portrayal of Islam and Muslims after 9/11;
  • the depiction of terrorism in literature, movies and the arts;
  • media-oriented hostage-takings.

Formally, the bibliography has been subdivided into two main sections: “Books and Theses” and “Articles”; the titles in each section are alphabetically arranged, usually by authors. The Articles section has been structured by sub-sections for each alphabetic letter, starting with a heading consisting of the particular letter preceded by a hash key to enable readers to quickly access it (e.g., when searching for the letter C, open the search window of your text processing software by hitting <control> + <f> (on a Mac: <command> + <f>), then enter #C). A third short section at the end of the bibliography lists websites and blogs that regularly publish analyses of primary source materials (especially jihadist online publications). All websites were last visited on  18 February 2013.

To provide readers with reliable information to locate the references, a detailed citation style (including full author first names, journal issue numbers, book series titles, and full URL paths to resources) was used. Where available, DOIs have been added. A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is a unique and permanent identifier for electronic entities. It takes the form of a two-part character string (e.g. 10.1080/10304310302733): The first part identifies the registrant (in our example 10.1080 for Taylor & Francis), the second part identifies the particular electronic object (here: 10304310302733 for the journal article "September 11 and the Logistics of Communication" by Michael Galvin). In the bibliography, all DOIs were provided in a clickable format to enable readers to directly access the landing page associated with them. DOIs secure a more stable linking than traditional web addresses (URLs), which often alter or disappear, causing so-called 404 error messages. Nevertheless, it might happen that a DOI is defunct. In this case, the user of this bibliography should insert the title of an article – enclosed with quotation marks –  into a search engine like Google to retrieve the publication's landing page.

Whenever retrievable, URLs for freely available versions of subscription-based publications have been provided. Thanks to the Open Access movement, self-archiving of publications in institutional repositories or on author homepages for free public use (so-called Green Open Access) has become more common. Please note, that the content of Green Open Access documents is not necessarily identical to the officially published versions (e.g., in case of pre-prints) it might therefore not have passed through all editorial stages publishers employ to ensure quality control (peer review, copy and layout editing etc.). In some cases, articles may only be cited after getting consent by the author(s).

To provide a balanced pool of references, a broad scope of resources and different search strategies were used to retrieve the bibliographic content. 23 free or subscription-based terrorism research journals were searched for articles by browsing their tables of contents manually in order not to miss important content. This core journal list was extended by 71 multi- or interdisciplinary journals of significant importance for terrorism researchers. These journals were identified by using keyword searches on publisher homepages, scanning journal lists, bibliographies, reference lists as well as citation analyses. For these journals, the tables of contents for the last decade were browsed manually; older back files were checked by using the automatic keyword search function on the journal’s or publisher’s homepages.

Furthermore, 136 websites, blogs, and publication lists of governmental, and non-governmental institutions, private companies, academic, professional, or individual experts were identified and manually browsed for relevant content (especially to retrieve gray literature such as reports or working papers, but also other literature types), or to get alerted with regard to new publications. As terrorism research is an interdisciplinary field with relevant publications scattered over a large scope of publication outlets, the compiler of this bibliography used cross-searches to extend the body of resources. 10 homepages of commercial academic publishers (amongst them Taylor & Francis, SAGE, and Wiley) were automatically searched for relevant content by using the advanced search features offered at their company websites. To keep the amount of results manageable, the keyword search was restricted to the abstract, title, and keywords fields (instead of full-text search).

The scope of the search was further extended by using 13 abstracting and indexing services (including Google Scholar, the Directory of Open Access Journals, and EBSCO) for publisher-independent, multi-disciplinary cross-searches. Results were filtered by employing advanced search functions. In addition, the compiler conducted searches with Google Books and WorldCat to retrieve books, edited volumes, and theses.

Due to the large amount of publications and the decentralisation of information resources in the modern publishing world, this bibliography, while extensive, cannot be totally comprehensive. Due to its length, it is only available in PDF format, not, as usual for contributions of Perspectives on Terrorism, in both HTML and PDF format.

About the Compiler:
Judith Tinnes, Ph.D., studied Information Science and New German Literature and Linguistics at the Saarland University (Germany). She wrote a comprehensive doctoral thesis on the Internet usage of Islamist terrorist and insurgent groups (focus: media-oriented hostage takings), based on a large set of research data obtained through long-term tracking of Islamist websites, which she had been conducting since early 2006. She has worked for several research support organizations where she gained expertise in information retrieval, librarianship, and electronic publishing. At present, she works at the research & development department of Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information (ZPID) ( http://www.zpid.de) in the open-access publishing project PsychOpen ( http://www.psychopen.eu). In her spare time, she is an Editorial Assistant with ‘Perspectives on Terrorism’ where she contributes to the Resources Section.

- All  quoted websites were last visited on February 18, 2013 -

The supplementary bibliography can be downloaded from here



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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

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