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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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Methodological Appendixes

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The following pages present five appendixes developed for the three phases of the study: content analysis, survey, and interviews with gatekeepers.

The codebook for the content analysis was designed so that all news items—domestic, foreign, and hybrid—could be coded for all the variables. The codebook consisted of several sections. Appendix A presents the complete list of variables.

The first section (Variables 1–5) identified the items. The second section (Variables 6–8) identified the topics of the item. A list of 25 major topic categories was created: internal politics; international politics; military & defense; internal order; economy; labor & industrial relations; business, commerce, & industry; transportation; health, welfare, & social services; population; education; communication; housing; environment; energy; science & technology; social relations; accidents & disasters; sports; culture; fashion; ceremonies; human interest; weather; and religion. Each topic category also had as many as two dozen subcategories. The coding was done by identifying up to three subcategories for each item. Most of the analyses that appear in the volume, however, were done on the 25 major topic categories.

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