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IAMCR 2019: Communication, Technology and Human Dignity: Disputed Rights, Contested Truths

Anton Kazun, ICSID research fellow, took part in IAMCR conference that was held in Madrid (Spain) on July 7-11, 2019. He presented his paper«Global News Flow in G-20: Attention to Countries vs Attention to Leaders» (co-authored  by Anastasia Kazun).

The paper analyzes the global news flow in the G-20 countries in 2018. For the analysis we use the global news database Dow Jones Factiva, which includes nearly 33,000 media from 159 countries of the world. We compiled a list of 3 leading print media for each of the G-20 countries (120 sources) and coded the number of mentions of all G-20 countries in each of them. The similar database was created for mentions of national leaders in all G-20 countries. Based on the created matrices with mutual mentions of the G-20 countries and their leaders, we build networks: in the center of the network there are countries or leaders that are more often mentioned in leading foreign print media, and on the periphery those who are less often mentioned in the media. Existing literature (Golan, 2008; Guo & Vargo, 2017; Kim & Barnett, 1996; Segev, 2015; Wu, 2000; Wu, 2007) generally indicates that the global news flow could be generally explained with economic factors (GDP, trade etc.). We show that the situation is more complicated: interest to some countries could be largely explained with economic factors, while the interest to other countries depend on political factors (for example, participation in international conflicts, level of democracy etc.). The network analysis revealed the presence of asymmetry in the number of mentions of countries and the number of mentions of their leaders. If the attention to a country (or its position in the network) depend to a significant extend on political factors, then the name of the leader will have a relatively higher centrality on the network than the name of the country. Conversely, the leaders of countries whose mentions could be generally explained by economic factors are less frequently mentioned in foreign media. Thus, comparing the attention to the country and to its leader, it is possible to draw conclusions about the factors which explain high or low interest to the country.

IAMCR is one of the largest associations of media researchers. With 1,785 registered participants from 83 countries and 5 continents, IAMCR 2019 was the most visited conference ever.