Data Mining Reveals How News Coverage Varies Around the World

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Last year, the news media reported on 195,000 disasters around the world. The ones you heard about depend crucially on your location.

One interesting question about the nature of news is how well it reflects the pattern of real events around the world. It’s natural to assume that people living in a certain part of the world are more likely to read, see and hear about news from their own region. But what of the international news they get—how does that compare to the international news that people in other parts of the world receive?

Today, we get an answer to these questions thanks to the work Haewoon Kwak and Jisun An at the Qatar Computing Research Institute in Qatar. These guys have analyzed the news agendas in different parts of the world to see how the coverage reflects actual events in other parts of the world. And to visualize the different news agendas, they’ve created cartograms to reflect the coverage. These are maps in which the land area of a country is distorted by the amount of news coverage it receives in a given region (the image above shows how international news is viewed in North America).

Read the full article on MIT Technology Review