The American news media, in general, tends to focus on news in America – sometimes providing a skewed, or even peculiar, perspective on the world. For example, the crisis in the Philippines continues and the death toll is still climbing. But coverage has dropped dramatically, perhaps leaving the impression that everything’s well in hand.
The Guardian does a fairly good job of covering the international scene, frequently bringing to the fore many news stories ignored by other media. So we were surprized to see this visual depiction of the geographic foci of news in The Guardian:
University of Oxford’s Benjamin Hennig spent the past three years mapping how the Guardian covers the world. The above map is re-sized based on the number of stories related to a given country. The UK is not included, as the British paper naturally covers itself most. No surprise that the majority of stories are about the US, Europe and the Middle East.
Without the data to hold side by side, it is likely that the map for major US media would be more or less the same. Rather than criticize media coverage or bemoan the state of the media, I will simply say that the balance needs to shift. I hope that I can do my part to be a part of that change.
You can see the changes over the past three years here (notice the impact of Arab Spring on coverage in 2011):