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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).

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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