October 31, 1995

A Content Analysis: International News Coverage Fits Public’s Ameri-Centric Mood

Report Summary

A new study suggests that the way the media covers international news may be doing little to change the American public’s indifference to concerns about world events and foreign policy. A four-month analysis of over 7,000 international news stories now finds that newspapers and network television focus most often on world news that have a distinct American orientation, while local television (from which one-fourth of Americans get most of their news) may be all but ignoring the world. The study also concluded that the U.S. media carry few international articles that would broaden and educate Americans about the world beyond those hot spots where “breaking” news, usually about conflict, is occurring.