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Foreign News on Television

Where in the World Is the Global Village?

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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Figure 1 .1 General research design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Figure 3 .1 Positions of countries regarding topics in all news items (based on multidimensional unfolding) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Figure 3 .2 Positions of countries regarding topics in domestic news items (based on multidimensional unfolding) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Figure 3 .3 Positions of countries regarding topics in foreign news items (based on multidimensional unfolding) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Figure 10 .1 Distribution of the countries’ interest in the overall sample . . . . . . . . . . 192 Figure 10 .2 Top 20 countries of interest for the across-all-sample countries . . . . . . . 201 Figure 10 .3 Top 20 countries of interest in the Portuguese sample . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202 Figure 10 .4 Top 20 countries of interest in the U .S . sample . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203 Figure 13 .1 Graphic display of Chinese data: percentages of coverage and mean interest scores . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 260 Figure 14 .1 Relationship between concentration in news coverage and concentration in audience interest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284 AkibaCohen.indd 12 03/05/13 10:51 AM

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