In this 2008 TED talk, Alisa Miller shares some startling facts about the lack of international news stories in the American media through the medium of startling diagrams and facts.
Today’s U’S’ college graduates know less about the world than their counterparts twenty years ago, yet over fifty percent of Americans say they follow global news. In February 2007, a month when North Korea agreed to dismantle its nuclear facilities, there was massive flooding in Indonesia and the IPCC released its study confirming man’s impact on global warming, the U’S’ accounted for 79% of total news coverage. Of the remaining 21% which made up international news, most was based on Iraq. Worryingly, one news story eclipsed every country except Iraq and received ten times the coverage of the IPCC report. The story? The death of Anna Nicole Smith.
So in this accessible world, why is there such a lack of foreign coverage? Well, it is cheaper to cover Britney. News networks have reduced their foreign bureaus by half. A study of online news stories revealed much consists of recycled articles from the AP wire services and Reuters, without putting these into context for the ordinary individual.