Previous First-Hand Research
A 120-day sample of CNN coverage produced 305 terrorism-related transcripts for the decade ending December 31, 2006. Transcripts were counted and estimated in minutes of airtime to calculate the salience of terrorism in CNN agenda. They were then analyzed for agendae of policy, public and terrorist representation. Trend analysis revealed a 61% increase in the salience of terrorism in news coverage throughout the decade. Non-news-breaking event reporting increased by 22% over the same period. Only 3.84% of all 305 transcripts contained news-breaking coverage of actual terrorist events. Salience of policy agenda was 51% overall, though declined by 18% over the decade. Both public and terrorist agenda representation showed little proof of increase but analysis of the three most covered events suggests follow-up coverage contained more loosely related topics of government policy than event, aftermath and public service reports combined.