Some factors affecting the coverage of foreign events by 107 American newspapers

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1988

Authors

Hurrat, Khalid Serhan, 1953-

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to perform a content analysis of the patterns of international news coverage as reflected in 107 American newspapers. The study was based on the assumption that there are several environmental, institutional, cultural, and ideological factors that jointly or separately influence the daily output of the media. Nine hypotheses were tested by analyzing the coverage of 150 selected international events for seven days from the month of November 1984. Univariate and multivariate statistics were used to test the hypotheses. Five out of the nine hypotheses were supported by the findings of the study. The hypothesis that there was a relationship between the circulation size of a newspaper and the coverage of foreign events by that newspaper was supported by both correlational and t-test analyses. The hypothesis that there was a positive relationship between the number of news services for a newspaper and the coverage of foreign events by that newspaper was also supported by the analyses of correlation, multiple regression and the t-test. The hypothesis that there was an important association between the involvement of the United States in a foreign event and the coverage of that event by American newspapers was supported by the findings, too. The hypothesis that factors of population size, GNP size, economic affinities, and U.S.-involvement in events are the best predictors of coverage was partially supported by multiple regression analysis; variables of population size, GNP size, and economic affinities appeared to be insignificant in explaining the variance of foreign events coverage by U.S. newspapers. The number of news services and the involvement of the United States in an event proved to be the best predictors of coverage. The hypothesis that news categories of accidents and disasters, war and violence, crime and vice, and foreign relations are more likely to be covered than other event categories was partially supported. Four of the hypotheses, which were about the relationship between coverage of foreign events and the independent variables of press freedom, GNP, population, economic affinities, and geographical proximity were not supported

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