Patterns in foreign news coverage on U.S. network TV: A 10-year analysis
Weaver, James B.~Porter, Christopher J.~Evans, Margaret E.
Copyright (c) 1984
Abstract: Earlier studies have lent support to allegations by representatives of Third World countries, in particular, that Western news coverage of their countries is disproportionate, with too little overall coverage and too much concentration on sensational and bizarre items. In recent years there has been some indication that coverage of foreign in the US news has increased. This study was designed to determine: 1) whether there was a change in the volume of foreign news content presented on the evening newscasts of the three US commercial networks over the period 1972 - 1981 and, if so, what factors accounted for such changes; 2) whether there was a change in the amount of time devoted to specific geographic origins and specific topics of foreign news and, if so, why. A content analysis of Television News Index and Abstracts from 1977 - 1981 compared with the results of an earlier analysis of the preceding 5-year period showed considerable variation in the volume of foreign news presented, but not a significant increase from the first to the second five-year period. Also, a decrease of foreign news coverage in times of exceptional domestic news events was found. The analysis also yielded a significant variation with respect to geographic origin and topical content of the news stories.