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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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8 Who Uses News, How Much, and why?

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CHAPTER EIGHT

LARS WILLNAT, DAVID WEAVER, AGNIESZKA STĘPIŃSKA, & VEN-HWEI LO



This chapter focuses on the audiences for and possible predictors of media exposure and interest in foreign news coverage by television, newspapers, and online news media. Despite the obvious importance of news media as sources of information about world events, particularly during periods of crisis, there has been relatively little empirical research into the demographic characteristics of foreign news audiences and the reasons why people do or do not pay attention to foreign news (Biltereyst, 2001; Elvestad, 2009). We need this kind of research to better understand the audiences and possible effects of foreign TV news coverage.

Although there is much research from Western nations, particularly from the United States, examining predictors of media exposure and its political and social impact, very little research has been done comparing the predictors of media exposure among citizens across different countries. Our study was designed in part to fill this gap in media use research by exploring patterns and predictors of exposure to various news media—television, newspapers, and the Internet—among citizens in 13 different countries.1

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