WEEK 3: ‘The Lens of Fear’ (Communications Debates and Approaches)

How, according to Altheide, does the mass media construct a discourse of fear?

Mass media constructs the discourse of fear through continuous news, talk shows, dramatic TV – this highlighting violence  and what should be “feared” within the world. The mass media presents stories in a way that directs to the audience in an emotive way – this enabling the audience to feel somewhat of a connection with the situation or event. The embedding of fear of the emotional side can perhaps convert the audience to feel that they themselves can be the victim. The media embellishes and capitalises on these stories and events and therefore it constructs a discourse of fear throughout society.

– Altheide, D 2002, ‘The Lens of Fear’, in Creating Fear: News and the Construction of Crisis’, Aldine De Gruyter, New York, pp. 175-198.-


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