Introduction Ayanian (760) analyzed the New York Times' coverage of the I.R.A., the Red Brigades, and the F.A.L.N. during the period from July 1, 1977 to June 30, 1979 and found no basis for the charge that coverage legitimizes the cause of terrorist organizations. Martin (750), however, found that the mass media may quote someone using "terror" or "terrorism" in reference to an act performed by a group toward which the medium is either neutral or opposed. The press, however, will never use these terms in a headline unless it not only disapproves of the act but has no sympathy for its perpetrators. Elliot, Murdock, & Schlesinger (734) present three points of view on terrorism as mediated by television. The first view, that of officials and authorities, regards terrorism as illegitimate and repression as the only political solution. The second view is that terrorism, while illegitimate in "liberal democracies," may be legitimate in other political systems. The third view, that of opponents of the state, justifies violent action by general condemnation of the existing system or by a claim of self-determination or national liberation. Hostage crises have also received extensive coverage by researchers. Altheide (714-716) studied U.S. television network news coverage of the 1980 Iranian embassy hostage crisis and found overall similarily among networks in the number of reports devoted to the hostage situation. There was a very limited view of events and issues that did little to provide deeper historical and social understanding. Similar findings were found in work relating to the 1985 Beirut Hostage crisis (Adams,711). There is also considerable concern about the relationship between news coverage and terrorist events, examined from a legal or "public's right to know" perspective (713, 721, 765, 772). A conference on Terrorism and the Media (752) revealed that many experts in this field propose guidelines, such as those used at CBS, that leave the media responsible for policing its own actions and using its judgment as to what extent coverage will be given to each terrorist act. Others feel, however, that the media, by virtue of its nature, will not be firm enough and suggest that formal legislation is necessary to keep the media inhand. Participants at the conference voiced strong support for the position that the public's right to know is secondary to the safety of the people involved. Pornography As with violence, pornography and obscenity have been almost always been part of our lives and so has the debate about the possible consequences of the portrayals of explicit sex. Although the President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography (676), created in the late 1960s, found no real scientific basis to support contentions about the possible antisocial effects of pornography, recently there has been a resurge in this topic and research in general has shown that xix
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