Measuring-Peace-in-the-Media

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Measuring-Peace-in-the-Media

  1. 1. Special Report October 2010Measuring Peace in the Media Key Facts:  A majority of broadcasters doThe Institute for Economics and Peace and Media Tenor have jointly analyzed align their media reports with theglobal TV networks coverage of peace and violence issues using a fact-based actual levels of violence in theapproach which compares various measures from the Global Peace Index against countries they coverMedia Tenor’s database of global media. The results of the analysis are presentedin this report.  In relatively peaceful countries, exceptional violent events tend to receive the majority ofINTRODUCTION international coverageThe world is changing faster than at any This report explores the mediaother time in human history. This is true coverage, or lack of coverage, of  US TV networks broadcastfor both humanity and the environment, peace and conflict with a special more violence than otherwhich is reaching the limits of its emphasis on news themes that may countriescapacity and on many fronts. Geo- help to create stable, peaceful _________________________political shifts are occurring, the most societies. It is evident from theadvanced armies are having difficulty research that the structures that create  Less peaceful countries have farwinning wars and our business peace are not well covered in the least fewer reports on the structures ofenvironments are evolving as peaceful countries. peacetechnology creates unprecedentedchange. If the public truly desires peace, then  The ten least peaceful countries covering what will create peace will are reported on far moreThe media is not immune from these be of interest to them. If this happens frequently than the ten mostchanges as new mediums evolve, such to be new and different from whatas the web and the consumers usage and other media organisations present then peaceful countriessources patterns are changing with it. In there is a unique differentiator whichmany countries, print media readership in turn will provide a competitive  Countries where conflict endedand television viewers have declined advantage. It does not matter whether or subsided have a dramatic fallwhile there is a lack of models to the tone of the news coverage is in the level of total coveragemonetise news on the web whether by positive or negative. What is __________________________traditional sources or new arrivals. important is that what the media illuminates does cause comment and  Coverage of the Middle EastBut change creates opportunity and action throughout society. tends to focus on Violence topics,opportunity arises from having a with a very small proportion ofdifferent or unique perspective on a All wars are fought under the banner positive storiessystem that is evolving. BBC World of creating peace, and are highlyand CNN created global markets on the newsworthy as can be seen from theback of satellite TV and Al Jazeera rose coverage of Iraq or Afghanistan. The  Middle Eastern TV programsin response to a market gap created by analysis that is contained in this report are the most likely to reportthe global television networks not is a simple attempt to better positively on Afghanistanunderstanding the aspirations of the understand how the media reports oncitizens of the Middle East. peace and conflict and to offer some  Positive peace stories make up comparisons of the normal themes of just 1.6% of the total number ofThe web fragments audiences as a coverage compared to those themes stories examined in the studydiversity of choices become available that are considered essential tothat can be marketed cheaply and building a stable and peaceful society.grown through social connectivity. Nolonger do people go to a trusted source, But if peace is so interesting, thenrather many sources are utilised with what do we know about peace?the average web site visit lasting just 2½ minutes.© 2010 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE 1
  2. 2. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIA INTRODUCTION (continued) Peace is one of our most valued concepts of the major universities around the world. because in many ways peace is the pre- If we look more deeply into what is studied condition that is needed to be met before we will find it is mainly conflict. The study humanity can aspire to achieve the things of peace is not germane to the major that really matter such as economic academic disciplines. If you were to go into fulfilment, art, happiness or education. All the literature departments of any the major major religious and spiritual movements universities you will not find a course on the have peace as a cornerstone of their literature of peace yet there are profound philosophies simply because being at peace works on peace. Similarly if you went into is the basis for profound religious or any of the economics departments in any of spiritual experience. the major universities around the world, you would not find a chair in peace economics. Humanity has arrived at a unique point in its However most business people believe that history. We now possess weapons that can peace is good for business. destroy civilization as we know it. It is also becoming clear that we will reach the limits The Institute for Economics and Peace of a sustainable planet within our lifetime. worked with the UN Global Compact to Many of the very basic building blocks of define a series of questions on what senior life are becoming finite, or altering in ways executives thought of peace. The results of that we do not understand such as the the survey were startling. It found that 80% availability of water and the temperature of of the business leaders polled felt that peace the surface of the earth. To compound increased the size of their markets while matters our recent wars, such as Iraq and 79% thought that their costs reduced with Afghanistan, are telling us that peace cannot increasing peacefulness yet only 13% knew be created with force. The dynamics of our of any methods that helped them better advancement in explosives means that small understand the peacefulness of the markets numbers of individuals can cause great in which they operated. destruction and even the most technically advanced armies seem unable to prevail. There is a strong inter-relationship between peace and economic advancement because In the past, peace may have been the as violence decreases, impediments to the domain of the altruistic but in the future it is free flow of information, goods and human in everyone‟s self-interest. capital decrease. This is as true for an advanced nation as it is for a nation To create peace we really need to emerging from conflict. As violence understand peace and the deeper our increases in a shopping district then knowledge is of peace then the more consumers will spend less time shopping. If capable we will be to create it. This is true two nations are hostile towards each other for any discipline whether it is aerospace or then the friction will reduce inter-state trade, immunology, the deeper our knowledge the lengthen supply lines and reduce the inter- more effective our actions become. operability of their labour markets. If we seriously look at what we know about The media does not exist in isolation from peace the honest answer is not enough. This the economies that it operates within. For is as true for the media coverage of peace as global media networks the global economy it is for building the appropriate capabilities is of keen interest. In uncertain times if within a failed state so that it can become a some media organisation can improve the constructive member of the international uniqueness of their offerings while creating community. a focus on the underlying themes that improve the economies in which they The study of peace is a relatively new field operate, such as peace, then this should of endeavour and before the 1950‟s was improve their margins and help support the virtually non-existent. Since then Peace and networks as they evolve towards new media Conflict Centres have been formed in many models.2 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE © 2010
  3. 3. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIA government policies towards the media‟sBACKGROUND freedom, as this would indicate a society that is moving towards authoritarianismMedia Tenor and the Institute for which strongly correlates with violence.Economics and Peace (IEP) have jointlycreated a unique platform that takes a fact- The Media Tenor database was thenbased approach to analysing the global analysed and stories pertaining to topics onmedia coverage on topics related to peace Violence were tallied. They wereand conflict. summarised to give regional and global tallies which could then be comparedThrough the use of statistical analysis we between different television networks tohave examined selected television networks better understand reporting patterns.and compared the tenor of the coverage to Additionally, stories were rated as positive,the levels of peacefulness of the countries negative or neutral and tallied to bettercovered. This has been achieved by understand the tone of the coverage.comparing data from the Global PeaceIndex (GPI) and Media Tenor‟s media Since, for measurement purposes, conflictdatabase. Data from the 149 countries and peace can be seen as the inverse of eachranked in the GPI was compared to data other, it follows that the ratio of reports onfrom the Media Tenor database which Violence-related stories can be compared tocovers 37 television news and current affairs the overall number of stories thereby givingprograms from 23 media organizations that a measure of the media‟s view of theare situated on four continents. peacefulness of a country. The assumption is that the more violent the country, theThe study helps to better understand the more stories there will be on violence as atexture of the media‟s coverage of peace and percentage of total stories. To illustrate theconflict with the aim of highlighting point, Iraq is at the bottom of the GPI anddifferent coverage patterns between the this is reflected by its media coverage wheretelevision networks and then to compare the the most newsworthy items are violencecoverage with an independent yardstick that related. On the other hand, New Zealandmeasures peace to determine the accuracy was ranked at the top of the Global Peaceof the coverage. The Global Peace Index Index in 2010 and the media coverage is onwas used as this yardstick. What is unique stories about what a good holidayabout this approach is that, to the best of our destination it is or the high position it holdsknowledge, it is the first attempt ever to take on many developmental tables. Although ina fact-based approach to analysing the New Zealand violent crime is slightlyaccuracy of the media. higher than in most developed countries, this issue has little coverage by theIt must however be pointed out that since international media.this is the first analysis of its type, anyconclusions should be treated as The countries were then ranked by thepreliminary. With further study a much percentage of Violence related stories toricher and fuller analysis will be developed. total stories and divided into four bands. The Global Peace Index was also dividedPeace is notoriously difficult to define and into four bands so the two sets of data couldmeasure. The approach that we have taken be compared, as shown in table 1.for this study is to define peace as “theabsence of violence”. This fits neatly with Table 1. Band categoriesthe definition of peace that was adopted by Global Peace Index (country rank)* Violence Issues as% of total storiesthe GPI. Band 1 1 – 30 Band 1 < 20%To better understand what peace or conflict Band 2 31 – 75 Band 2 21 – 40%may mean for a television network, a list of“Violence” topics was developed. Examples Band 3 76 – 120 Band 3 41 – 60%of the topics are war, violent conflict and Band 4 121 – 149 Band 4 > 60%crime. However some other categories havebeen included such as negative coverage of *A lower GPI rank = more peaceful© 2010 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE 3
  4. 4. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIA BACKGROUND (continued) Media accuracy could then be calculated when looking at the coverage of particular based on whether the reporting on Violence countries. For example, almost all of the for a given country was in a similar range as coverage by South African TV channels on that country‟s GPI band. For example, Australia was focused on Rugby and media coverage is considered accurate if the Cricket. country‟s banding aligns between the Media Tenor band and the GPI band. By contrast, What is of most interest is to understand if the media reports on any given country why a media network over or under reports vary by one band either way then the violence. Violence reporting is considered to be either under or over reported. Under reported Differences in regional coverage can be being if the Media Tenor band is less than highlighted by comparing the aggregate the GPI band and over reported if the Media coverage of the television networks fromFigure 1. Structures of Peace Tenor band is greater than the GPI band. one region to another. This methodology also allows for the tracking of changing trends in coverage over time. Additionally, the study analysed the media‟s coverage of the factors and structures that are associated with peaceful societies. Societies generally act on their knowledge and the media is their major source of information on current affairs. The proposition is that unless the media puts some focus on what creates peace then it will be difficult to create. The factors that create peace are known as the Structures of Peace and will be referred to regularly in this report. They are illustrated in figure 1. The analysis presented in the next pages is not meant to place any moral judgement on media coverage as it is recognized that the media is driven by a set of market dynamics that include newsworthiness, consumer demand, timeliness and the uniqueness of the event. The media‟s ability to focus on This methodology is relatively simple and security issues has in many ways helped to allows for the identification of whether a shape a more secure world, but peace is TV programs‟ country coverage aligns with much more than just security. Without the country‟s relative measure of peace. societies that can build and keep their own peace, troops can never be brought home The methodology also allows for and large prison populations become the highlighting countries that attract the norm. greatest level of over or under reporting compared to their peacefulness. It should be The study of peace is relatively new and noted that at times over reporting can be measuring peace is still in its infancy. valid as certain news stories can create Therefore the proposition that the media spikes in coverage, which over a longer may be able to shape peace by applying period of time will not be statistically coverage to the Structures of Peace is relevant. Two topics of media coverage, original. The key is to understand how these Sports and Natural Disasters, were excluded themes can be covered in a newsworthy way from the data as both create distortions that appeals to the interests of the audience. 4 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE © 2010
  5. 5. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIAPARAMETERS FOR THE ANALYSISThe Media Tenor data has been divided into Additionally, local coverage on the countrytwo periods, January 2006-December 2007, where the television network is domiciledand January 2008-December 2009. The has been excluded; for example, Fox News2006-2007 data is compared against the reports on the US, BBC reports on the UK.2008 GPI, whilst the 2008-2009 data is A total of 37 TV programs which covercompared against the 2010 GPI. This aligns news and current affairs were analysed forthe time periods because the GPI this report, listed in table 2. These programscorresponds with the prior year‟s events. came from 23 TV NetworksTable 2. TV Programs included in the analysisMedia Network TV Program CountryABC ABC World News USAAl Arabiya Al Arabiya News Saudi ArabiaAl Jazeera Al Jazeera News QatarAl Manar Al Manar SAT LebanonARD ARD Tagesschau GermanyARD ARD Tagesthemen GermanyBBC BBC1 10oclock UKBBC BBC2 Newsnight UKBBC BBC World The News UKCBS CBS Evening News USACCTV CCTV1 News Hour ChinaCNN CNN International Desk USADubai TV Dubai TV UAEFOX FOX Special Report USAITV ITV News at Ten UKLBC LBC News LebanonNBC NBC Nightly News USANile TV Nile News Panorama EgyptRAI 1 RAI TG1 ItalyRTL RTL Aktuell GermanySAT1 SAT1 18:30 GermanySF SF Tagesschau SwitzerlandTF1 TF1 Le Journal FranceTRT1 TRT1 Ana Haber Bülteni TurkeyTVE TVE1 Telediario2 ItalyZDF ZDF Heute GermanyZDF ZDF Heute Journal GermanySABC SABC News @ One South AfricaSABC SABC News @ 10 South AfricaSABC SABC Afrikaans News South AfricaSABC SABC English News South AfricaSABC SABC Africa News Update South AfricaeTV eTV Prime Time South AfricaSABC SABC Zulu/Xhosa South AfricaSABC SABC SiSwati/Ndebele South AfricaSABC SABC Venda/Tsonga South AfricaSABC SABC Sotho South Africa© 2010 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE 5
  6. 6. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIA Each data point represents a country, with ACCURACY OF MEDIA COVERAGE those towards the bottom of the vertical axis being the most peaceful, and those to the How aligned is the world‟s media reporting right of the horizontal axis having the on Violence compared to the relative highest proportion of Violence reports. peacefulness of the countries covered? The trend line indicates the general Actually, it‟s more accurately aligned than accuracy of coverage, with the majority of people would commonly believe. the most peaceful countries being in the bottom left hand corner having less than The starting point for the analysis was to 25% of their coverage related to Violence. determine how closely the global media The majority of the least peaceful countries coverage of violence matched the measured are in the top right hand corner having more levels of violence within each country. To than 50% of their reports on Violence. accomplish this, the percentage of Violence stories was tallied for all television programs While the correlation is generally quite by country, other than for the country in strong (r = 0.56), there are cases where the which the television network was domiciled. media reporting does not match the level ofChart 1. Level of peaceful-ness of countries measuredagainst the percentage ofTV reports devoted to Vio-lence issues. It was striking to note how well it aligned, peacefulness of the countries. We have as can be seen from the scatter diagram analysed some of these countries in more above (Chart 1) where the percentage of detail to further explore what caused the stories pertaining to Violence was compared deviation. It was observed that exceptional to the peacefulness of each country. The events occurring in some countries triggered trend line reflects what would be expected. a sharp spike in violence related coverage There are however a number of anomalies, which in turn caused the country to deviate some of which are explained below. from the norm. Chart 1 illustrates the strong relationship Austria, Ireland, Portugal and Finland are between the Global Peace Index and total four very peaceful countries that are outliers media coverage of Violence. It measures on this chart. Despite their high levels of how closely the percentage of Violence peacefulness in 2008-2009, over half of all related TV reports in a given country are TV reports on these countries focused on related to that country‟s GPI score. The Violence issues. Further analysis of the data strong correlation indicates that, as would shows that for each of them there was a be expected, less peaceful societies do in single specific event that generated most of fact attract a higher level of reports on the additional coverage. In the case of Violence related issues. Portugal there was a high volume of stories6 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE © 2010
  7. 7. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIAon kidnapping about the Madeleine McCann TV programs that covered the country.disappearance, while Austria attracted high Countries which had a small number oflevels of coverage because of the Josef television programs covering them, such asFritzl case. Finland experienced a spike due Finland and Portugal, were not included into its gun control debate as a result of the this chart so that measurement bias would Chart 2. Countries for whichKauhajoki school shooting, and Ireland not affect the sample. Only the countries Violence issues are mostattracted a large volume of stories relating to with the 10 highest levels of overreporting frequently over reportedthe Northern Ireland conflict. were included. (2008-2009)Russia, Israel and Sudan are identified asanother set of outliers. These countries areranked at 143, 144 and 146 (out of 149)respectively on the 2010 Global PeaceIndex. Yet, less than 40% of TV reportswere related to Violence issues.Israel attracted a large volume of Violence-related reports on topics such as thePalestinian attacks, occupation of Lebanon,suicide bombings, settlements in Palestinianterritory and conflict in general. However,these reports were outnumbered by coverageof topics of state visits, peace negotiationsand other human interest stories.TV reporting on Sudan included significantcoverage of war crimes, conflict and ethnic In many cases, single specific events arecleansing. As with Israel, these reports were driving this over reporting, and it might beoutweighed by coverage of humanitarian useful to highlight some of these events.missions, peace negotiations, diplomacy andthe International Criminal Court Greece had 16 of the 18 TV programsprosecutions relating to genocide and war covering it over report Violence. Thecrimes in Darfur. majority of these reports were related to social unrest and demonstrations caused byRussia‟s coverage was far more diverse than the country‟s financial crisis.either Israel‟s or Sudan‟s, with a wide range Chart 3. Countries for whichof Violence-related topics covered. Violence in Spain was over reported by 14 Violence issues are mostProminent among the Violence reports was of 19 programs, with most of the coverage commonly under reportedcoverage on armament, missile defence on the Basque separatist movement. (2008-2009)systems and nuclear weapons. However,there was a much higher volume of reportson non-Violence topics which includedcoverage on State visits, the election ofDmitry Medvedev in 2008 and domestic andeconomic policies.OVER AND UNDER REPORTING OFVIOLENCEIt is insightful to identify countries in whichViolence is most frequently over or underreported, relative to their Global PeaceIndex rank.Chart 2 compares the number of TVprograms that over reported Violence onspecific counties with the total number of© 2010 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE 7
  8. 8. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIA Iran had 11 of the 26 TV programs reporting on the country over report TELEVISION PROGRAM ANALYSIS Violence and this was mainly due to To further analyse the media‟s coverage it is coverage of the protests resulting from the useful to understand the differing patterns of Iranian elections in 2009. television coverage by TV program. Chart 4 shows media coverage alignment to the 11 of the 24 TV programs covering Cuba Global Peace Index for the 37 TV programs over reported violence with most reports covered in this study. relating to the torture and interrogation of terror suspects. The coverage was considered accurate when the country coverage on Violence from the Belgium attracted media attention relating Media Tenor database was in the same band to the Dendermonde nursery attack in as the GPI. All of the TV programs in- January 2009 while in Indonesia the cluded in this graph covered more than 10 Violence topics were related to suicide countries. bombings and terrorism. Over reporting of violence in the The TV program with the broadest coverage Netherlands was primarily a result of the was BBC World The News which covered April 2009 attack on the Dutch Royal 67 countries. Family, while in Egypt the topics were dominated by kidnapping and border ARD Tagesschau and SABC Afrikaans had control. the highest level of alignment with the GPI. ARD Tagesschau aligned at 52%, while It is interesting to note that the number of SABC Afrikaans aligned at 50%. A number over reports on Violence by television of other TV programs exceeded 45% in their program as a ratio to the number of accuracy, these being ZDF Heute Journal, programs that cover the country very BBC 2 Newsnight, SF Taggeschau, CBS quickly falls away after the news event. Evening News and ZDF Heute. Again this would point to the vast majority of coverage being well aligned with the Chart 5 (page 9) ranks the TV programs by Global Peace Index. their Violence reports as a percentage of total reports, revealing significant variations On the flipside there are some cases of in reporting patterns. underreporting violence as seen in Chart 3.Chart 4. Percentage ofaccuracy (alignment withGPI band) of TV reporting8 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE © 2010
  9. 9. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIA Chart 5. Percentage of TV reports on Violence, by TV program, 2008-2009 based TV program amongst the group ofPOSSIBLE DIRECTIONS FOR PEACE Programs which had the lowest levels ofREPORTING - THE STRUCTURES OF reporting on Violence.PEACE Of the 10 TV programs that report the mostThe majority of TV programs reported on Violence, five dedicate on average 48% ofViolence less than 40% of the time. their total reports to Violence. ThisHowever there are four programs that compares to the 10 programs with the leastdevote more than 50% of their time to coverage of Violence which average 24% oftopics of Violence. These are CBS Evening their stories on Violence.News, Fox Special Report, ITV News at 10and ABC World News. All of these TV The group of TV programs with the lowestprograms are aired in either US or UK. percentage of Violence reports comprises mostly South African and Middle EasternConversely, some organizations spend far TV programs. Chart 6 (page 10) lists the 10more time focusing on other issues, with the TV programs with the highest level ofSouth African TV program SABC3 African coverage of Iraq and Afghanistan whenNews Update having the least coverage of compared to their total reports during theViolence at only 4%. This is surprising period 2008 to 2009.given most its coverage is on the Africancontinent, which according to the GPI is the Prominent in the chart are the four US TVleast peaceful region of the world. One programs of CBS Evening News, Foxexplanation is that the TV network is owned Special Report, NBC Nightly News andby the South African government and may ABC World News Tonight. For each ofhave an intentional policy applied to its these TV programs more than 30% of theirinternational coverage. total international reports are on Afghanistan and Iraq. The UK-based TVOf the 10 TV programs with the highest programs also devote a large proportion oflevel of Violence coverage, 8 are from the their total coverage to Afghanistan and Iraq.United States or the United Kingdom. Theirrelatively high level of Violence reporting is It seems that there is a high level ofpossibly due to their coverage of the Middle coverage of Violence when the televisionEast where they are actively engaged in network doing the coverage is domiciled inwar. Interestingly there is no US or UK a country that is at war.© 2010 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE 9
  10. 10. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIAChart 6. Combined cover-age on Afghanistan andIraq as a % of total TVreports, 2008-2009. MEDIA AND PEACE REPORTING tease out how well the coverage matches the peacefulness of the countries covered. The The analysis presented so far has focused on inverse of violence is peace and the next the media‟s coverage of Violence and has section of the analysis will explore the depth explored its alignment to the Global Peace of coverage of topics that are related to Index which has been used as a yardstick to peace.Table 3: Structures of STRUCTURE OF PEACE MEDIA TENOR TOPIC EDUCATION EducationPeace vs. Media Tenor Administrative restructuringCategories Elections Justice policy Leadership changes Parliamentary work FUNCTIONING OF GOVERNMENT Party politics Political relationships Social policy & services Spending Strikes/ Protests Budget policy Business associations Business issues Economic policy BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT Economic situation International trade Relationship to business Media/ Media policy FLOW OF INFORMATION Relationship to the media Public opinions Values/ Ideologies/ Rights Minorities & migration TREATMENT OF THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS Religion Gender/family Foreign affairs RELATIONSHIPS WITH NEIGHBOURS Intra-government relations Salaries/ Wages DISTRIBUTION OF RESOURCES Any stories that specifically mention inequality LEVEL OF CORRUPTION Crime (corruption stories)10 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE © 2010
  11. 11. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIAThe Global Peace Index has taken a fact- It is encouraging to find that there are 20%based approach to uncovering the structures more stories covering topics related to thethat create peace. These factors (referred to Structures of Peace than stories that focusedas the Structures of Peace) are intuitive and on conflict. The analysis was not concernedprovide a balanced view on what is impor- with whether the reports were positive ortant in creating a peaceful society. It follows negative; rather the emphasis is on the sub-that if a media organization covers them ject matter as that is what will create aware-then it is more likely to focus public opinion ness.on what is important in creating peace.Topic headings recorded by Media Tenor Due to the chart using a logarithmic scalethat correspond with the Structures of Peace care should be taken when reviewing theare listed in Table 3, and have been divided numbers. Violence topics ranged from ap-into the eight categories. proximately 4,000 stories on military de- fence to 25,000 stories on crime. HoweverBy categorising topics according to the three topics on Peace had higher coverageStructures that build peace it is now possible than any of the topics on Violence. Bothto further analyse media coverage of these „Well-functioning government‟ andcrucial areas. In order to help facilitate an „business environment‟ had approximatelyincrease in peacefulness, coverage of these 50,000 stories, while „relations withtopics is essential as it would encourage a neighbouring countries‟ had approximatelymore informed global debate. 30,000 stories.Chart 7 has been developed to compare the A deeper analysis of Peace stories high-total television network coverage of topics lights that the largest number of stories wason Violence to the total television network in the “business environment” category withcoverage of topics on the Structures of the global financial crisis receiving the mostPeace for 2008 and 2009. This chart will be coverage, while the largest number of sto-used further in the report to tease out the ries on “well-functioning government” fo-patterns of reporting on groups of countries cused on the US elections. Again, whetherwith different levels of peace. the coverage was positive or negative is not Chart 7. Worldwide TV re-coverage were „education‟ and „corruption‟, as important as the public attention that it ports on the Structures ofwith approximately 800 stories each. created. Peace, Jan 2006 – Dec 2009© 2010 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE 11
  12. 12. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIA Chart 8 analyses the 10 least peaceful high levels of corruption. Without an countries to create a comparison between adequate focus on this topic, building a well these nations and the global media coverage. -functioning government becomes difficult. Similarly appropriate focus on education is When we turn our attention to the least vital to building the right social structures peaceful countries, we see a different because the citizens of many of the least picture. Chart 8 displays the number of peaceful countries do not have the reports on the ten least peaceful countries in knowledge to know what is needed. the 2010 Global Peace Index which are listed in table 3. Chart 9 (page 13) analyses the coverage of Peace topics by thirteen TV programs. It As would be expected there is a higher only tallies stories where the coverage was percentage of reporting on Violence related positive and not those with a negative or topics, at 75%. Defence (Other) and Crime neutral tone. The full list of peace topics had by far the largest levels of coverage includes topics such as peace negotiations, with both recording approximately 10,000 arms control and human rights.Chart 8. Ten Least peace- stories. The distribution of stories across theful countries: TV reports Violence topics was well spread while the These results demonstrate that the mediaon the Structures of Peace, distribution of stories across the Peace perceives positive peaceful events as lackingJan 2006 – Dec 2009 topics had a wide variance. newsworthiness. For the 10 least peaceful countries, reports There is in fact a very low level of coverage on topics relating to the Structures of Peace of positive peace stories with just 1.6% of are roughly a third of the reports on conflict. the total number of media stories in this „Functioning of government‟ and study being on positive peace. This may be „relationships with neighbouring states‟ partly related to what is considered appear to be adequately covered but there is newsworthy with dramatic, high impact a relative paucity of reports on „education‟, events being considered the best. Peace „equitable distribution of resources‟, the stories generally are not high impact events. „flow of information‟ and „corruption‟. Other than Israel, all the countries in the group of the 10 least peaceful countries have12 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE © 2010
  13. 13. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIA Chart 9. Number of TV reports focused on peace by TV program, 2008- 2009.MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE MOST AND The combined GDP of the 10 least peaceful countries amounts is $US2.2 trillion com-LEAST PEACEFUL COUNTRIES pared to $US7.3 trillion for the 10 most peaceful countries. The 10 most peacefulChart 10 compares the total number of TV countries have a per capita income of 10reports on the 10 least peaceful countries times the least peaceful countries. Thiswith the 10 most peaceful countries (table 4, point underscores the economic value ofpage 14) and compares the total number of peace.reports with the number of reports on Vio-lence. As would be expected, reports relat- Not surprisingly, the total TV coverage foring to the least peaceful countries far exceed the less peaceful countries is higher than forreports on the most peaceful countries. The those countries that are relatively at peace.ratio is almost 4 to 1 for reports on the least This can be explained by the fact that coun- Chart 10. TV reports com-peaceful countries compared to the most tries with lower levels of peace tend to have parison: focus on mostpeaceful. more dramatic newsworthy events, such as peaceful vs. least peaceful Zimbabwe or Somalia compared to say, countries, 2008/09There is approximately a 1 to 5 ratio ofviolence to total stories for the 10 mostpeaceful countries, compared to a 2 to 3ratio for the 10 least peaceful countries.Of the 24,000 stories that focused on the 10most and least peaceful countries, only 23%referred to the 10 most peaceful nationswhile the remaining 77% referred to 10 leastpeaceful nations. The two sets of countriesvary greatly, not only on their levels ofpeacefulness, but also in terms of theirpopulation and economic output.The 2008 population figures from the WorldPopulation Prospects report show that theleast peaceful countries have a much largerpopulation coupled with a far smaller GDP.Their combined population amounts to over500 million, while the most peaceful coun-tries have approximately one third of thiswith approximately 170 million people.© 2010 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE 13
  14. 14. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIATable 4. Global Peace Index Rank Country Rank Country2010: 10 most and least 1 New Zealand 140 DR Congopeaceful countries. 2 Iceland 141 Chad 3 Japan 142 Georgia 4 Austria 143 Russia 5 Norway 144 Israel 6 Ireland 145 Pakistan 7 Denmark 146 Sudan 7 Luxembourg 147 Afghanistan 9 Finland 148 Somalia 10 Sweden 149 Iraq New Zealand and Norway. In addition, Japan receives by far the greatest level of some of the less peaceful countries happen coverage, which would be expected given to be very large economies, such as the the size of the economy and its geopolitical USA, China or Russia, where their significance. However this is still well geopolitical influences create a large below the 7,000 reports that were done on number of newsworthy topics. This is Afghanistan. reinforced by the under reporting of countries that have medium levels of Chart 12 (page 15) highlights the media peacefulness and are geopolitically coverage of the 10 least peaceful countries significant such as France, Italy and the UK. with a breakdown of the number of stories by country. Chart 11 shows the total number of reports for the 10 most peaceful countries, including As mentioned earlier this highlights how the the proportion of reports dedicated to least peaceful nations get more coverage Violence topics. than the most peaceful nations with greater than one third of the coverage being on Once again we encounter Austria and Violence in Afghanistan. What is more Ireland as having unusually high reports on interesting is the influence of the Violence. With the exception of these two Afghanistan war, with over 50% of the countries, the most peaceful countries on coverage in this chart being for just two average receive a very low volume of countries Afghanistan and Pakistan. Violence reports.Chart 11. TV reports – 10most peaceful countries,2008-2009.14 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE © 2010
  15. 15. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIA Chart 12. TV reports – 10 least peaceful countries, reports for 2008 2009The two graphs in Chart 13 depict whether regardless of the country that is being cov-the coverage on each of the countries had a ered in the stories.positive, negative or neutral angle/tone. It is particularly interesting to note thatWhat is intriguing about this set of graphs is Finland received almost the same amount ofthat the ratio of positive to negative stories negative coverage as the Democratic Re-did not vary greatly between the 10 most public of the Congo (DRC), which had thepeaceful countries and the 10 least peaceful highest level of negative coverage of the 10countries, with 35% of all stories being least peaceful countries. As discussed ear-negative for the 10 most peaceful nations lier, Finland‟s coverage can be traced to itsand 42% being negative for the 10 least gun control debate.peaceful nations. Sweden and Norway received the highestWhat varies greatly is the percentage of level of positive coverage of the 10 mostViolence related stories between the two peaceful countries.groups. This would indicate that the tone ofthe TV reporting remains fairly constantChart 13. Comparison of positive, negative and neutral coverage: most peaceful vs. least peaceful countries,media coverage over the 2 years 2008- 2009. Ten most peaceful countries Ten least peaceful countriesNew Zealand DR Congo Iceland Chad Japan Georgia Austria Russia Norway Israel Ireland PakistanLuxembourg Sudan Denmark Afghanistan Finland Somalia Sweden Iraq 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Negative Neutral Positive Negative Neutral Positive© 2010 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE 15
  16. 16. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIA the most – the biggest fallers. It also shows CHANGING PATTERNS IN REPORTING the 2010 Global Peace Index rank for each country. It is interesting to note that with the Chart 14 tracks the level of television re- exception of Qatar and Croatia, all the porting that has been devoted to covering “biggest movers” are ranked in the bottom the 10 countries with the most improved half of the GPI. peacefulness on the GPI and the 10 coun- tries whose peacefulness most declined. It Madagascar‟s fall on the Global Peace In- shows that media attention is overwhelm- dex was driven by rising levels of internal ingly focused on countries that are becom- conflict, political instability and homicide. ing less peaceful. All of these issues were extensively covered by a broad spectrum of media organisations. Less than 12% of the total reports for the 20 countries are devoted to the 10 biggest im- Countries that have large falls in the level of provers in peacefulness with 88% of the their peacefulness have frequent dramatic coverage going to the 10 countries that have events occurring such as riots, organised had the biggest falls in peacefulness. An- conflict or terrorism, whereas improving gola is the most improved of all the coun- levels of peace have fewer dramatic events, tries on the Global Peace Index because of other than events such as successful peace reductions in the number of conflicts negotiations. fought, low likelihood of violent demonstra-Chart 14. TV reports com-parison: countries whichhave seen the biggest in-crease/decrease in theirpeacefulness levels, TV re-ports for 2008-2009. tions, low military expenditure as a percent- Chart 15 highlights the number of reports age of GDP and number of armed services on violence as compared to other stories for personnel. Yet there were very few reports the nations that had the greatest improve- by the media on these improvements. ment on the GPI between 2008 and 2010. Table 5 lists the countries which have most With the exception of Congo (Brazzaville), improved their overall levels of peaceful- chart 15 shows that most reports on these ness – the biggest risers – between 2008 and countries are not about Violence issues. 2010, along with the countries whose over- However, the reports are not related to the all levels of peacefulness have deteriorated GPI indicators which have improved overTable 5. Global Peace In- Biggest Risers 2010 GPI rank Biggest Fallers 2010 GPI rankdex, most improved in Angola 86 Pakistan 145peacefulness and most de- Qatar 15 Madagascar 77clined in peacefulness: 2008 Congo (Brazzaville) 102 Syria 115vs. 2010. Uganda 100 Yemen 129 Croatia 41 Zimbabwe 13516 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE © 2010
  17. 17. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIAthe time period. The violence-related cover- Pakistan alone outnumber the total numberage on Congo (Brazzaville) is almost en- of stories on all of the 10 most peacefultirely related to conflict and war crimes countries.while Uganda‟s Violence reports covermany more topics such as protests, social The minimal amount of media attention thatunrest, murder and kidnapping. was paid to the fall in peacefulness of Syria, Madagascar & Yemen is also worthy ofBy contrast, the countries which have had note.the greatest deterioration in their GPI scoressince 2008 are shown on chart 16. The chart Although Zimbabwe‟s level of peacefulnessshows the number of TV reports on Vio- has deteriorated dramatically during thelence as compared to other stories for Syria, period, there are more positive than negativeZimbabwe, Madagascar, Yemen and Paki- stories on the country. The period of report-stan. ing coincided with the new government being established and the power sharingPakistan clearly dominates chart 16 and the arrangements between Morgan Tsvangiraination‟s instability has been a magnet for of the Movement for Democratic Changethe international media. The stories on and Robert Mugabe of ZANU-PF, which Chart 15. TV reports – countries that have most improved their peaceful- ness 2008 vs. 2010. Chart 16. TV reports – countries that have had their peacefulness deterio- rate the most 2008 vs. 2010.© 2010 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE 17
  18. 18. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIA received a lot of positive coverage in the in chart 16, which is much more international media. characteristic of a country becoming less peaceful. Over 80% of the reports dedicated to Yemen were covering Violence topics, mainly Interestingly, each of the biggest fallers related to terrorism, kidnapping and air received a higher level of positive coverage strikes. This corresponds with the factors than Qatar, the country that has most which drove its GPI score higher, namely improved its peacefulness and is currently increased perceptions of criminality in ranked at 15 on the Global Peace Index. society, greater likelihood of violent demonstrations, a higher level of violent Another way to view trends in media crime, decreased respect for human rights, coverage is to look at which countries are and higher number of deaths from organised receiving the most media attention in a internal conflict. given year. Analysis of the tone of the coverage Chart 18 (page 19) lists countries whose (positive, negative and neutral) of the most media coverage either increased or improved and most deteriorated nations decreased between 2006 and 2009. shows that on average, the countries becoming more peaceful attract a much Denmark had the largest increase in larger proportion of positive reports than coverage and was covered by 23 more TV those with declining levels of peacefulness. programs in 2008-2009 than in the previous Still, the reporting is not evenly distributed biennium. Lebanon, however, received less as Congo (Brazzaville) and Uganda received coverage from 12 TV programs. Coverage high levels of negative coverage as shown of sporting events and natural disasters has not been included in the numbers as it isChart 17. Comparison of positive, negative and neutral coverage: coun- considered that it would distort the analysis.tries which have seen the biggest increase/decrease in their peacefulnesslevel, 2008 vs. 2010 In the case of Denmark, much of the growth in coverage was due to the 2009 climate change conference in Copenhagen and the associated demonstrations and protests. For Georgia it was conflict, national elections and demonstrations, while Mexico attracted more coverage due to the H1N1 influenza, border control and drug-related crime. REGIONAL ANALYSIS Examining TV coverage at the country level allows us to compare and contrast specific TV programs. Extending this analysis to the regional level gives us insight into whether any patterns exist across regions, or whether there are clear demarcations between the tenor and tone of coverage across different continents. As the largest amount of data was available for American, European, and Middle Eastern television networks, these three regions were chosen for the analysis. This coverage looks only at how regional media coverage portrays other regions, and excludes coverage of countries within their own region. All data is taken from the pe- riod January 2008 to December 2009.18 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE © 2010
  19. 19. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIA Chart 18. Countries for which media focus has changed the most: 2006- 2007 vs. 2008- 2009Chart 19 illustrates the focus of the variousregional media, by showing what percent- REGIONAL MEDIA ANALYSIS: WHAT IS THEage of total TV reports focus on different FOCUS OF REGIONAL REPORTING?regions. Both the US and European TV programsOf special interest is how the three regions devote more than 60% of their coverage ofcover each other. European TV has a fairly the Middle East to Violence. This high leveleven split between coverage of the Middle of coverage is mainly of Afghanistan andEast (27%) and North America (29%), Iraq. Coverage of these two countries maywhilst American TV programs are much therefore skew public perceptions of themore concerned with events in the Middle level of violence across the Middle East.East (40%) compared to Europe (24%),perhaps a reflection of American involve- American TV programs, on average, reportment in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghani- a slightly higher level of violence in thestan. Middle East than European TV programs. Coverage of Europe by American and Mid-Somewhat surprisingly, Middle Eastern dle Eastern TV programs is similar withcoverage suggests a much stronger interest both devoting around 20% of their reportsin European affairs (36%) than events oc- to violence.curring in North America (21%) despite the2008 US Presidential Election. Chart 19. Regional coverage as percentage of total TV reports: Middle Eastern, European, & US TV© 2010 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE 19
  20. 20. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIA Coverage of the US by European and Mid- European TV reports were most likely to be dle Eastern programs is also quite similar, positive when focused on North America. with European TV programs focusing on American TV reports displayed a similar violence approximately 15% of the time and pattern, with high levels of negative cover- the Middle East focusing on violence 22% age of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. of the time. However American television also had a high level of positive coverage of Africa and The level of coverage of Violence for the South America. US is well below what would be expected given its GPI score. What is remarkable Both European and Middle Eastern TV pro-Chart 20. Focus on Vio- about this chart is how uniform the coverage grams were more likely to report positivelylence Issues by Region: patterns are, with the exception of the Mid- on North America than other regions, whichEuropean, Middle Eastern, dle East which receives a much higher level mirror their low levels of coverage of Vio-and US TV Programs of reporting on Violence. lence issues in the US. REGIONAL MEDIA ANALYSIS: WHAT By contrast, coverage of the Middle East, by IS THE TONE OF REGIONAL both European and American TV programs, REPORTING? had both a high level of Violence reporting and a high level of negative coverage. To understand the tone of reporting, the stories have been broken up into positive, Chart 22 (page 21) shows which countries negative and neutral. Chart 21 (page 21) receive the greatest breadth of coverage shows the level of positive, neutral, and during the period 2008-2009. Breadth of negative coverage as a percentage of total coverage is determined by the total number coverage, for all regions. of different different topics that have been covered for a given country. Of the top 10 Of the three regions, American TV Pro- countries, the US is ranked first, and 5 of the grams are the least likely to be of a positive remaining 9 countries are European. nature, whilst coverage by Middle Eastern programs is more likely to be positive, and Other than Zimbabwe and Afghanistan all also the least likely to be negative. the countries with the broadest coverage are the leading economies of the world. This Middle Eastern TV programs were most would point to a wider level of global re- likely to be negative when reporting on Af- porting for countries that have geopolitical rica or Central America and more likely to influence. Coverage may be affected by the be focused on positive events in Oceania demands of the audiences as they would and North America. It is intriguing that al- have a much more nuanced understanding though there was a high level of negative of the more influential nations such as the reporting on Africa, it did also receive a US, UK, Russia, China, than of nations such higher level of positive coverage from the as Turkey or the Congo. Zimbabwe is an Middle East compared to Europe or the US. exception and its inclusion can be explained by the extensive coverage it received from European TV programs were more negative the South African TV programs. than their Middle Eastern counterparts, par- ticularly with regards to Asia and Oceania.20 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE © 2010
  21. 21. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIAChart 21: Tone of Coverage by Region: European, Middle Eastern, US TV Programs Chart 22. Breadth of Cov- erage – Top 10 Countries (2008-2009) reported positively or negatively in theCASE STUDY: AFGHANISTAN world‟s media or that commentators agreed or disagreed with the idea. The key fact isOne of the greatest freedoms that humanity that by merely covering the announcement,can aspire to is to have a free press, because the media focused the world‟s attention ona free press provides the clearest lens an issue previously not known.through which society can view the eventsthat shape its destiny. The clarity of the me- Implicit in this observation is the media‟sdia‟s lens is critical as this creates transpar- ability to facilitate change. It is not importantency. Transparency is what allows for the whether talking to the Taliban about peace isbest possible choices by society, whether it‟s appropriate or inappropriate, but simply bythe pricing of a financial instrument or the bringing attention to certain issues anddecision to go to war. events the media can help shape the nature of public discourse.In September 2010, the Afghan PresidentHamid Karzai made headlines around the In this section we analyse the TV coverageworld, when he announced plans to create a of Afghanistan between 2006 and 2010 withHigh Peace Council to pursue peace talks the aim of exploring its texture. We havewith the Taliban. What is important about placed a special emphasis on investigatingthis is not whether the announcement was the media‟s coverage of the structures that© 2010 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE 21
  22. 22. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIA create a peaceful society as defined by the of coverage is between January 2006 and Institute for Economics and Peace. These December 2009. factors are referred to as The Structures of Peace. As can be seen on chart 23, there has been a large increase in the total number of reports To enable a better debate on how to cover on Afghanistan since May 2009, with topics peace we explore two propositions. Firstly, of Violence being the major theme of these we argue that it is difficult to create peace reports. The peak of the coverage corre- unless there is adequate attention paid to the sponded with the Presidential elections in appropriate structures that create it. Sec- Afghanistan during August 2009 and was ondly, as these structures are under-reported followed by a secondary spike which corre- in countries that tend to experience higher sponded with the announcement of Obama‟s levels of violence relative to others, we make troop surge. Other events have been high- the case that there is an opportunity for tele- lighted on chart 23 to show their impact on vision networks to differentiate themselves the television coverage. It appears that the from other networks by focusing on these Iraq troop surge in early 2007 diverted me- aspects. dia attention from Afghanistan, while there is a noticeable, though smaller, spike in mid It is nine years since the invasion of Af- -2009 when President Obama considered his ghanistan and the Afghan conflict is still strategic options concerning the conflict. receiving more media attention than any other conflict in the world. As such it pro- It is also interesting to compare the total vides an excellent case study to examine level of coverage of Afghanistan with the what are the main topics of focus by the me- coverage of Iraq. Chart 24 (page 23) com- dia and to then compare the coverage of pares the total number of TV reports on Af- these topics to the factors that would help ghanistan and Iraq for the period January build an internally sustainable and peaceful 2006 to December 2009. society. As illustrated by chart 24, the focus of me- The media‟s attention on Afghanistan has dia attention turned away from Iraq and intensified in recent years. Chart 23 shows moved towards Afghanistan as the Afghani the number of TV reports per month for Af- conflict intensified. This corresponded with ghanistan from all of the 37 TV programs a decrease in violence in Iraq. There was a monitored by Media Tenor. The chart com- slight dip in the volume of TV reports fol- pares the number of reports on Violence lowing the spike generated by the Afghani related topics too all other issues. The period Presidential elections in August 2009. ThisChart 23. Number of TVReports on Afghanistan(January 2006-December2009)22 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE © 2010
  23. 23. MEASURING PEACE IN THE MEDIA Chart 24. Number of TV Reports on Afghanistan vs. Number of TV Reports on Iraq (January 2006- December 2009)was followed soon after by another spike in Although Iraq is still a highly dangerousViolence reporting, see chart 23, due to the country, its level of peacefulness betweencoverage of Obama‟s troop surge. Also 2008 and 2010 has improved but not to aevident in this comparison are prominent level proportionate to the fall off in mediaspikes in the coverage of Iraq which corre- coverage. The changes in the peacefulnessspond with the troop surge in early 2007 and of Afghanistan and Iraq as calculated by thethe initial success of the first independent Global Peace Index are presented in tables 6combat operations by the Iraq military in and 7.March 2008. Iraq remained the least peaceful nation inCombined coverage of Iraq and Afghanistan the world in 2010, being ranked at the bot-was at its lowest during the US election pe- tom of the Global Peace Index which coversriod in the second half of 2008. 149 countries. However, Afghanistan has deteriorated, as demonstrated by its score change.AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ AND THEGLOBAL PEACE INDEX The figures in table 6 indicate that the in- crease in the reporting of Violence on Af-It is clear that Afghanistan‟s peacefulness ghanistan was to be expected, if the trendsbetween 2008 and 2010 deteriorated mark- in media reporting were associated withedly. This can be determined both by its shifts in its peacefulness.lower ranking in peacefulness as scored bythe Global Peace Index and confirmed by At the same time, it is interesting to notethe level of media coverage. that political stability in the country did im-GPI – Afghanistan 2010 Table 6. Changes in Af- 2008 Change ghanistan’s GPI indicatorsOVERALL SCORE 3.13 3.25 +0.12 (2008 vs. 2010)OVERALL RANK 137/140 147/149 10†Military expenditure as a percentage of GDP 1.5 5 3.5Level of violent crime 3 5 2Number of deaths from organised conflict (internal) 3 5 2Likelihood of violent demonstrations 3 4 1Political instability 4.25 3.75 -0.50Relations with neighbouring countries 4 3 -1© 2010 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE 23

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