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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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4 Countries of Location and Countries Involved Jurgen Wilke, Christine Heimprecht, & Youichi Ito

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CHAPTER FOUR

JÜRGEN WILKE, CHRISTINE HEIMPRECHT, & YOUICHI ITO



In this chapter we present two aspects of our findings from the content analyses conducted in the 17 countries. The main question here is which countries and regions of the world are presented as foreign news in the newscasts (from the perspective of the countries of broadcast) and to what extent are they represented? We answer this question in two ways. Our main focus is on where the reported events occurred (countries of location). In addition, we examine which countries were involved in the events, assuming that foreign news often refers to countries beyond the country of location.

The question of which countries are covered by foreign news is one of the most venerable and established in communication and media research. As early as the 1930s, Woodward (1930) counted the amount of news in the American press dedicated to different countries. The focus of that research was extended in post-World War II studies to include all the countries in the world (Kayser, 1953; IPI, 1953). Since the 1960s, the issue has received further attention in the context of the debate over the New World Information and Communication Order (Sreberny-Mohammadi, 1984; Sreberny-Mohammadi et al., 1985; Stevenson & Shaw, 1984; Schenk, 1987).

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