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Understanding 
News 
Geography 
and 
Major 
Determinants 
of 
Global 
News 
Coverage 
of 
Disasters 
Jisun 
An 
and 
Haewo...
‘Sucked 
into 
a 
hole’
10 
most-­‐read 
news 
at 
BBC 
on 
17th 
Oct 
2014 
Celebrity 
Technology 
Environment 
Local 
news
10 
most-­‐read 
news 
at 
BBC 
on 
17th 
Oct 
2014 
5 
out 
of 
10 
most-­‐read 
news 
articles 
are 
about 
foreign 
dis...
News 
outlets 
keep 
reporting 
foreign 
disasters.
In 
a 
process 
of 
globalisation, 
a 
foreign 
disaster 
can 
have 
a 
political 
or 
economical 
impact.
Such 
emotional 
news 
raise 
sympathy 
for 
others 
which 
can 
be 
a 
key 
to 
drive 
more 
audience 
to 
the 
news 
sit...
People 
suffered 
from 
those 
disasters 
wait 
for 
a 
global 
aid 
to 
be 
recovered.
Which 
disasters 
receive 
more 
attention 
from 
foreign 
news 
media?
Theory 
of 
newsworthiness 
• Proposed by Galtung and Ruge, 1965 
• Frequency, intensity, unambiguity, meaningfulness, 
co...
Effect 
of 
national 
attributes 
A guest country 
(where a disaster happens) 
A host country 
(where news media exists)
Effect 
of 
national 
attributes 
A guest country 
(where a disaster happens) 
Population, degree 
of press freedom, 
geog...
Effect 
of 
national 
attributes 
A guest country 
(where a disaster happens) 
Population, degree 
of press freedom, 
geog...
A 
wide 
range 
of 
national 
attributes 
and 
power 
relationship 
has 
been 
examined, 
but 
results 
are 
inconsistent,...
A 
wide 
range 
of 
national 
attributes 
and 
power 
relationship 
has 
been 
examined, 
but 
results 
are 
inconsistent,...
Which 
disasters 
are 
most 
likely 
to 
be 
‘globally’ 
covered?
why 
news 
about 
disasters?
GDELT 
dataset 
3,574,627 
events 
(666,150 
natural 
and 
man-­‐made 
disasters) 
happening 
in 
205 
countries 
from 
Ap...
GDELT 
dataset 
3,574,627 
events 
(666,150 
natural 
and 
man-­‐made 
disasters) 
happening 
in 
205 
countries 
from 
Ap...
GDELT 
dataset 
• monitors 
the 
world's 
news 
media 
in 
print, 
broadcast, 
and 
web 
formats, 
in 
over 
100 
language...
Example 
“47 
Jihadists 
were 
killed” 
was 
found 
in 
ten 
different 
articles 
that 
day 
• NumArts=10, 
• CountType=KI...
Fields 
• DATE 
• NUMARTS 
• COUNTTYPE 
-­‐ AFFECT, 
ARREST, 
KIDNAP, 
KILL, 
PROTEST, 
SEIZE, 
WOUND.. 
• COUNTS 
• THEME...
Inferring the country of 
news media by alexa.com
GDELT 
3,574,627 
events 
(666,150 
natural 
and 
man-­‐made 
disasters) 
happening 
in 
205 
countries 
from 
April 
2013...
Which 
countries 
are 
presented 
in 
one 
country’ 
international 
disaster 
news 
and 
to 
what 
extent?
Examples 
of 
cartogram
News 
geography 
seen 
by 
North 
America
North 
America 
South 
Asia
Strong 
regionalism 
in 
reporting 
foreign 
disasters 
All 
coefficients 
are 
positive, 
but 
less 
than 
0.5. 
Disaster...
Strong 
regionalism 
in 
reporting 
foreign 
disasters 
The 
unique 
interest 
of 
each 
region 
makes 
it 
difficult 
for...
GDELT 
3,574,627 
events 
(666,150 
natural 
and 
man-­‐made 
disasters) 
happening 
in 
205 
countries 
from 
April 
2013...
Which 
one 
would 
be 
more 
likely 
to 
be 
covered 
by 
more 
counties?
Which 
one 
would 
be 
more 
likely 
to 
be 
covered 
by 
more 
counties? 
“A 
baby 
killed 
by 
her 
mum” 
or 
“200 
peop...
Which 
one 
would 
be 
more 
likely 
to 
be 
covered 
by 
more 
counties? 
“A 
baby 
killed 
by 
her 
mum” 
or 
“200 
peop...
Why 
would 
one 
be 
covered 
more 
than 
the 
other? 
“200 
people 
killed 
by 
flooding 
in 
Malaysia” 
school 
girls
Why 
would 
one 
be 
covered 
more 
than 
the 
other? 
“200 
people 
killed 
by 
flooding 
in 
Malaysia” 
2000 school 
gir...
Why 
would 
one 
be 
covered 
more 
than 
the 
other? 
“200 
people 
killed 
by 
flooding 
in 
Malaysia” 
2000 school 
gir...
Why 
would 
one 
be 
covered 
more 
than 
the 
other? 
“200 
people 
killed 
by 
flooding 
in 
Malaysia” 
2000 school 
gir...
Determinants 
of 
global 
news 
coverage 
We 
build 
a 
hierarchical 
(mixed-­‐effect) 
multiple 
regression 
model 
where...
Determinants 
of 
global 
news 
coverage 
We 
build 
a 
hierarchical 
(mixed-­‐effect) 
multiple 
regression 
model 
where...
Candidate 
independent 
variables 
National 
variables: 
GDP 
(gross 
domestic 
product) 
per 
capita, 
GNI 
(gross 
natio...
Determinants 
of 
global 
news 
coverage 
We 
build 
a 
hierarchical 
(mixed-­‐effect) 
multiple 
regression 
model 
where...
• Disasters 
in 
countries 
with 
high 
population 
tend 
to 
be 
more 
globally 
covered.
• Disasters 
happening 
in 
politically 
unstable 
countries 
receive 
more 
global 
attention.
• The 
more 
people 
killed 
or 
affected 
by 
a 
disaster, 
the 
more 
countries 
the 
disaster 
will 
be 
covered 
in.
• Kidnap 
is 
one 
of 
the 
disaster 
types 
that 
gets 
the 
most 
attention 
from 
other 
countries.
• Some 
types 
of 
disasters 
are 
more 
likely 
to 
be 
chosen 
than 
others. 
For 
example, 
Aftershocks 
and 
Flooding ...
Three 
national 
variables, 
which 
are 
log(population), 
mobile 
subscription, 
political 
stability, 
explain 
3.1% 
of...
Disaster 
variables 
are 
added 
to 
the 
first 
model 
The 
characteristics 
of 
a 
disaster 
themselves 
explain 
an 
ad...
INAs 
covered 
explains 
an 
additional 
18% 
of 
the 
variance!
Summary 
• GDELT, 
a 
valuable 
resource 
to 
study 
news 
flow 
around 
the 
world 
• A 
strong 
regionalism 
in 
reporti...
Future 
Direction
We 
are 
keen 
to 
collaborate 
with 
you! 
Thanks! 
@JisunAn 
@haewoon 
Qatar 
Computing 
Research 
Institute 
(QCRI)
Understanding News Geography and  Major Determinants of  Global News Coverage of Disasters
Understanding News Geography and  Major Determinants of  Global News Coverage of Disasters
Understanding News Geography and  Major Determinants of  Global News Coverage of Disasters
Understanding News Geography and  Major Determinants of  Global News Coverage of Disasters
Understanding News Geography and  Major Determinants of  Global News Coverage of Disasters
Understanding News Geography and  Major Determinants of  Global News Coverage of Disasters
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Understanding News Geography and Major Determinants of Global News Coverage of Disasters

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Presented at Computation + Journalism Symposium 2014 (http://symposium2014.computation-and-journalism.com).

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Understanding News Geography and Major Determinants of Global News Coverage of Disasters

  1. 1. Understanding News Geography and Major Determinants of Global News Coverage of Disasters Jisun An and Haewoon Kwak Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) C+J Symposium 2014
  2. 2. ‘Sucked into a hole’
  3. 3. 10 most-­‐read news at BBC on 17th Oct 2014 Celebrity Technology Environment Local news
  4. 4. 10 most-­‐read news at BBC on 17th Oct 2014 5 out of 10 most-­‐read news articles are about foreign disasters.
  5. 5. News outlets keep reporting foreign disasters.
  6. 6. In a process of globalisation, a foreign disaster can have a political or economical impact.
  7. 7. Such emotional news raise sympathy for others which can be a key to drive more audience to the news sites.
  8. 8. People suffered from those disasters wait for a global aid to be recovered.
  9. 9. Which disasters receive more attention from foreign news media?
  10. 10. Theory of newsworthiness • Proposed by Galtung and Ruge, 1965 • Frequency, intensity, unambiguity, meaningfulness, consonance, unexpectedness, and continuity of an event • Some characteristics of an actor (e.g. identity) involved in the event
  11. 11. Effect of national attributes A guest country (where a disaster happens) A host country (where news media exists)
  12. 12. Effect of national attributes A guest country (where a disaster happens) Population, degree of press freedom, geographic size, economic power, etc A host country (where news media exists) National traits
  13. 13. Effect of national attributes A guest country (where a disaster happens) Population, degree of press freedom, geographic size, economic power, etc A host country (where news media exists) National traits Relatedness Geographic distance, shared language, volume of trade, past colonial ties
  14. 14. A wide range of national attributes and power relationship has been examined, but results are inconsistent, mainly due to cultural difference.
  15. 15. A wide range of national attributes and power relationship has been examined, but results are inconsistent, mainly due to cultural difference. international coverage news Examined a in country single
  16. 16. Which disasters are most likely to be ‘globally’ covered?
  17. 17. why news about disasters?
  18. 18. GDELT dataset 3,574,627 events (666,150 natural and man-­‐made disasters) happening in 205 countries from April 2013 to July 2014 News geography Which countries are presented in one country’ international disaster news and to what extent? Global news coverage Which disasters are most likely to be ‘globally’ covered?
  19. 19. GDELT dataset 3,574,627 events (666,150 natural and man-­‐made disasters) happening in 205 countries from April 2013 to July 2014 News geography Which countries are presented in one country’ international disaster news and to what extent? Global news coverage Which disasters are most likely to be ‘globally’ covered
  20. 20. GDELT dataset • monitors the world's news media in print, broadcast, and web formats, in over 100 languages • compiles a list of every person, organization, location, themes (events), etc. from every news report • stretches back to January 1, 1979 and update daily • leverages Google Translate for Research to augment human translation
  21. 21. Example “47 Jihadists were killed” was found in ten different articles that day • NumArts=10, • CountType=KILL, • Count=47, • ObjectType=”jihadists”,
  22. 22. Fields • DATE • NUMARTS • COUNTTYPE -­‐ AFFECT, ARREST, KIDNAP, KILL, PROTEST, SEIZE, WOUND.. • COUNTS • THEMES -­‐ NATURAL DISASTER, MANMADE DISASTER, … • LOCATIONS • OBJECTIVE -­‐ “Christian missionaries” from “20 Christian missionaries were arrested” • SOURCEURLS
  23. 23. Inferring the country of news media by alexa.com
  24. 24. GDELT 3,574,627 events (666,150 natural and man-­‐made disasters) happening in 205 countries from April 2013 to July 2014 News geography Which countries are presented in one country’ international disaster news and to what extent? Global news coverage Which disasters are most likely to be ‘globally’ covered
  25. 25. Which countries are presented in one country’ international disaster news and to what extent?
  26. 26. Examples of cartogram
  27. 27. News geography seen by North America
  28. 28. North America South Asia
  29. 29. Strong regionalism in reporting foreign disasters All coefficients are positive, but less than 0.5. Disasters covered by each region do not overlap with one another.
  30. 30. Strong regionalism in reporting foreign disasters The unique interest of each region makes it difficult for research relying on a single country or region to obtain external validity.
  31. 31. GDELT 3,574,627 events (666,150 natural and man-­‐made disasters) happening in 205 countries from April 2013 to July 2014 News geography Which countries are presented in one country’ international disaster news and to what extent? Global news coverage Which disasters are most likely to be ‘globally’ covered?
  32. 32. Which one would be more likely to be covered by more counties?
  33. 33. Which one would be more likely to be covered by more counties? “A baby killed by her mum” or “200 people killed by flooding in Malaysia”
  34. 34. Which one would be more likely to be covered by more counties? “A baby killed by her mum” or “200 people killed by flooding in Malaysia”
  35. 35. Why would one be covered more than the other? “200 people killed by flooding in Malaysia” school girls
  36. 36. Why would one be covered more than the other? “200 people killed by flooding in Malaysia” 2000 school girls
  37. 37. Why would one be covered more than the other? “200 people killed by flooding in Malaysia” 2000 school girls USA
  38. 38. Why would one be covered more than the other? “200 people killed by flooding in Malaysia” 2000 school girls USA Would this then get more coverage?
  39. 39. Determinants of global news coverage We build a hierarchical (mixed-­‐effect) multiple regression model where Dependent variable: Number of countries covering a disaster
  40. 40. Determinants of global news coverage We build a hierarchical (mixed-­‐effect) multiple regression model where Dependent variable: Number of countries covering a disaster Independent variable: 1) the attributes of a nation e.g., GDP, population, etc 2) the attributes of a disaster e.g., disaster type, the number of affected people, etc 3) logistics of news gathering e.g., whether INAs report a disaster or not
  41. 41. Candidate independent variables National variables: GDP (gross domestic product) per capita, GNI (gross national in-­‐ come) per capita, military expenditure, population, land size, population density, merchandise exports (US$), merchandise imports (US$), number of scientific journal publications, unemployment rate, foreign aid received (US$), Internet use (per 100 people), mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people), homicide rate (per 100,000 people), index of press freedom, the world giving index, and the political stability index. Disaster variables: a disaster type, a fine-­‐grained subtype of a disaster, the unexpectedness of a disaster, the number of people involved in the disaster, the type of people’s involvement in the disaster (denoted as count type), and the type of people affected by the disaster (denoted as object type). Logistic of news gathering variable: one binary variable to show whether a disaster is reported by any of international news agencies (Agence France-­‐ Presse (AFP), Associated Press (AP) and Reuters)
  42. 42. Determinants of global news coverage We build a hierarchical (mixed-­‐effect) multiple regression model where Dependent variable: Number of countries covering a disaster 14 independent variable: 1) the attributes of a nation e.g., GDP, population, etc 2) the attributes of a disaster e.g., disaster type, the number of affected people, etc 3) logistics of news gathering e.g., whether INAs report a disaster or not 1 control variable: A country a disaster happened
  43. 43. • Disasters in countries with high population tend to be more globally covered.
  44. 44. • Disasters happening in politically unstable countries receive more global attention.
  45. 45. • The more people killed or affected by a disaster, the more countries the disaster will be covered in.
  46. 46. • Kidnap is one of the disaster types that gets the most attention from other countries.
  47. 47. • Some types of disasters are more likely to be chosen than others. For example, Aftershocks and Flooding types tend to be reported in more countries than the other types.
  48. 48. Three national variables, which are log(population), mobile subscription, political stability, explain 3.1% of the variance.
  49. 49. Disaster variables are added to the first model The characteristics of a disaster themselves explain an additional 4.3% of the variance.
  50. 50. INAs covered explains an additional 18% of the variance!
  51. 51. Summary • GDELT, a valuable resource to study news flow around the world • A strong regionalism in reporting disasters • A prominent role of INAs in global news coverage of disasters
  52. 52. Future Direction
  53. 53. We are keen to collaborate with you! Thanks! @JisunAn @haewoon Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI)

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