Honors Theses


College of Arts and Sciences


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Political Science and Public Administration


Department of Political Science and Public Administration


Bachelor of Arts


Political Science, Philosophy

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Previous research indicates that civilian mass mobilizations in protest of the government can have profound negative effects on a state’s ability to govern. The most prevalent news sources in most localities are still traditional journalistic television and print publications. Citizens rely on journalists to track state abuse, misdeeds, and corruption, which affects when citizens mobilize against the state. The occurrence of protests, especially those involving protestor violence and lethal government responses, can seriously threaten a political regime and border on a civilian uprising. I contend that more frequent mass mobilizations in a state motivate the government to adopt a more preventative stance towards future protests. I argue that governments aiming to prevent a population from being driven to mobilize may deploy lethal measures against journalists in order to decrease information flow and prevent informed citizen mass mobilizations. I assert that states which experience more civilian mass mobilizations are more likely to engage in the extra-judicial killing of journalists as a means of attempting to limit future anti-state protests. Comparing motive-confirmed journalist killings between 1992 and 2020 with data detailing civilian mass mobilization events over the same time period, I show that when mass mobilizations occur in which protestors are killed by government authorities, the state is 3% more likely to kill journalists in the immediate future. This adds to a growing literature detailing factors that forecast violence against journalists and sheds light on the methods by which governments take action to suppress information from the populace.

Publication Date


First Advisor

Tkach, Benjamin

Second Advisor

Holmes, Carolyn

Third Advisor

Vivier, Eric