Designing and Applying an ‘Extremist Media Index’

Donald Holbrook


Even though notions of extremism are subjective and relative, we can still be systematic in the way we approach them. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how such a systematic mechanism can be compiled and visualised. I propose a set of definitions, in an ‘Extremist Media Index’, to grade ideological media material conveying religious-political sentiments according to some very basic criteria concerning stages of activism and the nature of religio-political discourse. I test the reliability of these criteria and apply the Index to publications by Anwar Al-Awlaki and associated with far-right extremism in order to display the range of sentiments conveyed and how these can be understood through systematic grading.

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

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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