Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Ryan C. Hendrickson


In order to explore presidential rhetoric, media coverage and its contribution to public opinion, this thesis will examine these facets in the matters of international terrorism. More specifically, terrorism in India, Syria, and Afghanistan will be assessed and compared during two time periods: 2003-2004, and 2011-2012. This thesis will predominately attempt to evaluate the relationship between the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) and actual coverage. By searching for key words in presidential speeches from President Obama and President Bush, evaluating the news coverage of terrorist activity in all three countries, this thesis will attempt to show the impact of presidential speeches and media coverage on public opinion. I hypothesize that in the case of India and Syria, presidential speeches and the media will cover the topic of Syria's terrorism more than India's. I also expect to find that in the case of India and Afghanistan, the media and president will cover Afghanistan's terrorism more than India's. The results suggested that the relationship between the GTI, media coverage, and presidential mentions is inconclusive. Findings also indicated that presidential rhetoric is still apparent in President Obama and Bush's speeches, and that terrorism has been mentioned less over time.