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Journalism & Democracy

International News - Provision, Trust and Consumption in a Rapidly Changing Broadcasting Environment

Research summary: Paradoxically, amidst an ever more interconnected and globalized world, the prospects for truly global journalism seem to be in retreat in many areas. This is largely due to two separate phenomena.

The first – a by-product of the current crisis in business models for Western journalism – means that fewer commercial organisations are investing in global reporting, since the costs are high and the returns uncertain.

The second is the increasing attractiveness of international news with a different view, whether from avowedly ‘counter-hegemonic’ providers such as Al Jazeera, or other state backed foreign broadcasters such as Russia Today, Chinese CCTV, or Telesur. Faced with these changes, more traditional broadcast TV and Radio news providers, whether state or commercially funded, find themselves confronted by audiences who may respond to increased choice by seeking out news that reinforces their own world view.

The project addresses the key issue of the role of international media and news flows in globalization through mapping the changing provision of international news in 6 African countries (Egypt, Algeria, Senegal, Cameroun, Nigeria and Kenya) as well as in India and Pakistan, assessing the evidence for patterns of consumption, and reviewing how attitudes to trust in global media sources may be changing. The current phase of the project aims to:

• Investigate international news provision in the eight target countries: Egypt, Algeria, Senegal, Cameroun, Nigeria, Kenya, India and Pakistan;

• Collate existing data on news consumption in the eight countries;

•  Examine existing literature and evidence on the broader issues relating to Trust in the target countries.

The UK-based research team comprises Dr David Levy, Director of RISJ, Dr Anne Geniets and Dr Brian Rotheray.

Resulting publications:

Good News from a Far Country? Changes in International Broadcast News Supply in Africa and South Asia (2010)

The Global News Challenge. Assessing changes in international broadcast news consumption in Africa and South Asia (2010)

Project Funders: Carnegie Corporation (New York), BBC World Service and France 24

Project start date: Jan 2010

Project end date: Oct 2010