Galtung and global attention patterns

Remember our first session?

We were discussion Johann Galtungs famous text “The structure in Foreign News”. There were several explanaitions for global news attention patterns. Ethan Zuckerman examines three of them for the world of blogs:

“…F9: The more the event concerns elite nations, the more probable that it will become a news item.
F10: The more the event concerns elite people, the more probable that it will become a news item.
F11: The more the event can be seen in personal terms, as due to the actions of specific individuals, the more probable that it will become a news item…” (Galtung/ Ruge 1965)

 

The following two graphics show attention in global news in mainstream media and blogs:

Figure 1: Visualization of news stories available through Google News, May 5, 2005. Nations depicted in red had the most stories available; nations depicted in dark blue had the fewest (taken from Zuckerman 2005, further sources).

Figure 2: Visualization of blog posts stories indexed by Blogpulse over the 90 days preceding May 5, 2005. Coloring as above (taken from Zuckerman 2005)

There are mixed results in the comparison between these data:

There is “a difference in attention patterns between top bloggers and the blogosphere as a whole – while bloggers as a whole might pay less attention to developing nations than mainstream newspapers, top bloggers might pay less attention to the USA and Israel, and more attention to a diverse set of nations.”

“Of stories germane to a particular region, stories about the Middle East are the best blogged, and stories of South Asia and Africa the worst. Stories about the UK also fared poorly. The latter result is consistent across other news sources- local news and sports stories are the least blogged stories from the New York Times, for instance. A possible explanation: both the BBC and the New York Times have international readerships – local news is likely to be interesting primarily to people living in the coverage area, while other stories have a global audience. Looking closely at links to specific headlines, another pattern becomes apparent – stories that involve a US troop presence, or focus on terrorism are well blogged regardless of what region they are classified into” (both Zuckerman 2005).

 

 

 

Blogospheres around the world

Iran a.k.a. “weblogistan”

After the first Iranien blog wa created in 2001, the Iranian blogosphere grew fast, with over 75,000 blogs in 2004. The Iranien blogosphere is under heavy pressure from the authorities for criticizing the Iranian government. Several Iranien bloggers were arrested, some only for short times, others were put in jail for several years. There are difficulties in opening the Iranian blogosphere to a global audience, especially due to the language barrier. There were times when it gained global attention though, for example during the 2005 election controversy.

China

The Chinese blogosphere is also watched closely by the authorities, banning the use of words like “human rights”. These problems result in a heavy self-cencorship by Chinese bloggers:

“In fact, the bulk of voices in Chinese cyberspace today are more anti-American, more anti-Japanese, and more inclined to go to war against Taiwan than the Chinese government is. This is made more acute by the skewed mix of information Chinese internet-users are exposed to thanks to the Great Chinese Firewall…” (Rebecca Mac Kinnon)

East Africa

Based in Kenya and Tanzania, it has a strong influence on the East African printing press. It is not threatend too much by the authorities (for a change), but is also less influential in itself as there are few people with the possibility of accessing the internet in Kenya. There is a good likage to the global community, as there are many blog written in english.

Arab World

There are thriving blog communites in Irak, Jordan, Bahrain, Tunesia and others, which are linked well with each other. Also there is a strong emphasis on reaching out to the world. This is also working quite well, as there is a lot of attentian by global (especiall the U.S. and U.K.)blogs and media.

 

sorry for the long post, here is a potato:

bridge blog definition

Rebecca_MacKinnon_20100508_副本

 

0430_副本

They are distinguished from the vast majority of blogs by their intended audience: while most blogs are targeted to friends and family, or to an audience that’s demographically similar to the author, bridgeblogs are intended to be read by an audience from a different nation, religion, culture or language than the author.” (Zuckerman 2005: 1)