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Foreign News on Television

Where in the World Is the Global Village?

Edited By Akiba Cohen

Spanning several years of research, this book compares and contrasts how public and commercial TV stations present foreign, domestic, and hybrid news from a number of different countries. It examines what viewers of television news think about foreign news, their interest in it, and what sense they make of it. The book also assesses what the gatekeepers of foreign news – journalists, producers, and editors – think about what they produce, and about their viewers.
This book shows that while globalization is a dominant force in society, and though news can be instantaneously broadcast internationally, there is relatively little commonality throughout the world in the depiction of events occurring in other countries. Thus, contrary to McLuhan’s famous but untested notion of the «global village», television news in the countries discussed in this book actually presents more variability than similarity.
The research gathered here is based on a quantitative content analysis of over 17,000 news items and analysis of over 10,000 survey respondents. Seventeen countries are included in this research, offering a rich comparative perspective on the topic.

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Table 1 .1 Television stations in the study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Table 1 .2 Contextual variance in the countries of the study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Table 2 .1 Countries in descending order of percentages of each type of news . . . . . 30 Table 2 .2 Mean duration (in seconds) of items by country and news category . . . . 32 Table 2 .3 Lead items in newscasts by types of news (in percent) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Table 3 .1 Main topic categories by country (in percentage of total news time) . . . . 44 Table 3 .2 Main topic categories in domestic and foreign news by country (in percentage of total news time) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Table 3 .3 Spearman rank correlations between time devoted to the 25 main topic categories of purely domestic (D), domestic with foreign involvement (DF), foreign with domestic involvement (FD), and purely foreign (F) by country . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Table 3 .4 Percentages and rankings of top 25 individual news topics by total news time of items in domestic and foreign news . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Table 3 .5 Hard, soft, and sensational news by country and news type (in percen- tage of news time) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Table 3 .6 Shannon H entropy scores by country for all coverage, domestic news, and foreign news (based on 11-topic categorization) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Table 4 .1 Number of countries of location in foreign news broadcasts and num- ber of foreign news items . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Table 4 .2 Proportion of continental regions and countries in foreign news cover- age on TV (in percent) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Table 4 .3 Country Concentration Indexes (CCI) for the...

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