Terrorism and the Media: A First Amendment Dilemma

Publication Year



Politics, media, terrorism, first amendment, Constitutional law, United States


Constitutional Law | First Amendment | Law and Politics | Legal Studies | Political Science | Supreme Court of the United States


A few years ago, I witnessed the actual murder of a hostage by a terrorist on national television. Although I do not remember the details of that particular terrorist incident or the name of the station that broadcast the murder, I will never forget the murder. To this day I remember the terrorists throwing the body from the airplane, and the networks focusing in on the body. Thus began my interest in the link between terrorism and the media. This project does not address the merits or demerits of terrorism, but rather makes the assumption that terrorism is undesirable, and thus factors which contribute to terrorism are also undesirable.

Originally the purpose behind this paper was to investigate the link between terrorism and the media, however as I progressed I became extremely interested in the Supreme Court decisions which touch on these areas. It is the discussion of the Court cases which is of primary importance in my paper. Since this paper's principal concern is with the Supreme Court decisions which would affect the issues of terrorism and the media, its cope is primarily domestic; dealing with cases within the United States, or in which the United States plays the authoritative role.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Political Science

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