LA Times offered as model for foreign news coverage

LA Times offered as model for foreign news coverage

Beaudoin, Christopher E

A content analysis of four constructed weeks of the Los Angeles Times showed international news comprised 19 percent of the newspaper’s total news hole.

Over the past three decades, studies have shown a decline in the amount of foreign news coverage in major U.S. daily newspapers. Emery demonstrated that international news-as a percentage of the total news hole-had shrunk from 10.2 percent in 1971 to 2.6 percent in 1988.1 Furthermore, studies, such as those of Wilhoit and Weaver,2 have shown that foreign news is incomplete and biased, is focused primarily on the developing world and is largely negative in nature.

Because the mass media hone the public’s sense of meaning and of reality, both social and political,3 it makes sense that the American public would hold an improper picture of the world, especially the developing world, if foreign news coverage is inaccurate and biased.4

The current study is a micro-examination of various international news trends in one large metropolitan daily, the Los Angeles Times. The Los Angeles Times is an excellent target for such an exploration because of its attempts to improve foreign news coverage for its minority majority population. To begin with, Los Angeles is a region of great ethnic diversity. Latinos, Asian Americans and African Americans currently make up about 46 percent, 13 percent and 9 percent, respectively, of the population in Los Angeles County. This diversification is continuing, with Latinos expected to comprise 64 percent of the county population by 2040, followed by Asian Americans (15 percent) and African Americans (6 percent).5 This ethnic evolution is not unique to Los Angeles. The national figures for ethnic groups are expected to continue to rise: Latinos (from 11 percent in 1998 to 23 percent in 2040); Asian Americans (from 4 percent in 1998 to 9 percent in 2040); and African Americans (from 13 percent in 1998 to 15 percent in 2040).6 This is especially the case in metropolitan areas, with minorities now comprising more than 50 percent of the population in Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Francisco, Houston and Atlanta.7 For this reason, how the Los Angeles Times manages to cover and inform its diverse market foreshadows similar dilemmas that will face other U.S. metropolitan newspapers in the near future.

In recent years, the Los Angeles Times has undergone a significant effort to upgrade its international news coverage so it can present the world, in proper depth and context, to its diverse audience.8 The LA Times, thus, has the goal of bypassing traditional problems in foreign news coverage, with 41 foreign correspondents stationed in locations spanning the globe from Beijing to Mexico City.

Although there have been various analyses of foreign news content, many of which are discussed below, we were unable to locate any individual report focusing solely on Los Angeles Times international coverage. In addition, it is important to note that other content analyses focused on only text or photography-and not both. The inclusion of photography is invaluable here because photographs have been shown to increase learning and comprehension9 even if readers ignore related news stories.10

An Overview of International News Content Studies

A review of previous research provides a series of benchmarks by which contemporary LA Times coverage can be judged. For the current study, hypotheses are formed with the expectation that LA Times coverage-because of the newspaper’s significant efforts and intent to cover the world-will be superior to trends indicated by previous studies. Thus, support of a hypothesis indicates excellence in LA Times foreign news coverage.

Decline of Foreign News

Emery relied on three surveys by the National Advertising Bureau (NAB) and his own survey to determine a negative trend in foreign news coverage.11 According to the NAB reports, which focused on all U.S. dailies, the international news hole decreased from 10.2 percent in 1971 to 6.3 percent in 1977 to 6 percent in 1982. In his study of 10 large U.S. metropolitan dailies, Emery determined that the news hole had shrunk further by 1988-to 2.6 percent. Of the 10 newspapers, Emery found that the LA Times had the most international news stories and the most column inches. The LA Times did not fare as well in terms of its international news hole, which (at 2.1 percent) fell below the average of the 10 newspapers, as well as the figures for The New York Times (3.3 percent) and The Washington Post (5.4 percent).

Stepp concurred in his study of 10 mainstream U.S. newspapers in 1963-64 and 1998-99.12 He found that foreign hard news had fallen from 5 percent to 3 percent of the total news hole and that foreign stories were far less likely to appear on the front page, falling from 20 percent in the 1960s to 5 percent in the 1990s. Finally, Davis reported that international news makes up 14 percent of the news hole in The New York Times.13

This gives rise to our first hypothesis-the LA Times will focus more on foreign news than it did in the 1980s.

Geographic Bias

In terms of region, the focus of international content analyses has been on why certain areas garner greater coverage than others-usually juxtaposing the developed world against the developing world.14

The most-cited content analyses that focus on the role geography plays in international news are the 1979 and 1981 news service studies of Wilhoit and Weaver.15 In the first study, they found that 59 percent of the stories dealt with less developed nations and 41 percent with more developed nations. In the second study, these percentages shifted to 46 percent less developed and 54 percent more developed. Looking at the news coverage of 1983, Kirat and Weaver completed a follow-up study and, in terms of the AP and UPI, found a 50-50 split in coverage between developed and developing regions.16

Studies of photography in terms of international geography are few. In his study of front-page coverage of four metropolitan dailies, one being the Los Angeles Times, Langton determined that about 37 percent of front-page photos dealt with the developing world-compared to 52 percent with the West and 11 percent with Asia.17 For the Los Angeles Times alone, he found the following foci: the developing world, 37 percent; the West, 54 percent; and Asia, 9 percent.

These photo and text findings give rise to the following hypothesis: Most international coverage in the Los Angeles Times will deal with developing, not developed, nations.

One concept for explaining why certain regions are covered, and others are not, is the idea of proximity-that the closer an event is to home, the more likely it is to appear in the news. Proximity is defined along several dimensions, including geographic distance,18 functional distance19 and cultural distance.20 In his 1998 study of coverage in 13 newspapers, Wu found that geographic distance was a major predictor of foreign news coverage.21 For example, the Seattle Times devoted 60.4 percent of its coverage to Canada and just 39.6 percent to Mexico. The San Francisco Chronicle offered reversed coverage (Canada, 35.4 percent; and Mexico, 64.6 percent), and The San Diego Union-Tribune went even further (Canada, 21.4 percent; and Mexico, 78.6 percent).

Other studies have indicated that the U.S. press devotes between 20 percent and 24 percent of its foreign coverage to Asian nations and less than 10 percent to Latin America.22

This leads to the creation of the following hypothesis: There will be a greater focus in the Los Angeles Times on Latin America and Asia because of their geographic and cultural proximity to Los Angeles.

Topic Domains and Frames

To determine what is being covered and what that coverage looks like, researchers have relied on the concepts of topic domains and news frames. Domains have to do with topic areas-politics, government, environment, culture, science and technology, and so on-and frames deal with the way communication texts influence individual perceptions by selectively honing in on particular parts of reality while ignoring or downplaying other aspects.23

Articulating domains and frames, researchers have determined what topics are common and what types of news-good or bad, etc.-surface most often in foreign news coverage. Various studies suggest that international news is dominated by crisis, conflict and disaster.24 Weaver and Wilhoit determined that international coverage’s reliance on crisis and conflict domains increased, from 14 percent in 1979 to 27 percent in 1981.25 Kirat and Weaver, however, noted a decline, to 12 percent in 1983.26 For developing nations, the focus on conflict- and crises-oriented coverage went from 47 percent in 1979 to 28 percent in 1981 and to 10 percent in 1983.27

Hart also looked for domains in foreign news, identifying the following: economics, 9 percent; foreign affairs, 20 percent; and politics, 10 percent.28 Finally, in her 1999 study of China coverage in The Washington Post and The New York Times, Goodman demonstrated that 24 percent of the stories dealt with severe crisis, 70 percent with conflict, and 32 percent with violence.29

In terms of photography, Langton found the most common domain was government: 20 percent in the developing world, 34 percent in the West, and 30 percent in Asia.30 He demonstrated that disaster, crime, military, accident and protest domains accounted for 74 percent in the developing world; 50 percent in the West; and 53 percent in Asia. In total, these domains made up about 59 percent of the news photos. In terms of features, entertainment, culture, sports and religion domains, Langton found the following rates: developing world, 6 percent; West, 15 percent; and Asia, 14 percent. The study determined that science, technology, health and business were all uncommon domains (each at 1 percent or less) and that the most common domain for the developing world was military/war.

Tsang found that international photos in Time and Newsweek were violent 31 percent and 26 percent of the time, respectively. The study also demonstrated that photo coverage in both magazines was most violent in terms of Asia (60 percent), Africa (52 percent) and the Middle East (43 percent).31

These findings give rise to the following hypothesis: International news in the Los Angeles Times will be more positive than negative-and more dominated by positive domains than by violence, crisis and disaster, especially when dealing with the developing world.

Role of the United States in Foreign Stories

A lesser focus of foreign content analyses has been exploring how the United States affects the newsworthiness of such coverage by its mere participations in such an event.32 For example, Weaver and Wilhoit determined that foreign news deals with issues involving the United States more than half the time.33

This finding leads to the following two hypotheses: 1) the United States will be central to most LA Times foreign stories; and 2) non-Westerners will dominate over Westerners in international news regardless of geographic region.

Context and People in the News

Little has been written about the characteristics of sources and story characters (defined as people in the news to whom information is not attributed) and the use of context in foreign news stories. Wilhoit and Weaver found that three-fourths of wire stories contained some contextual analysis,34 which was surprising, given the dearth of context in other news beats.35

This leads to the hypothesis that at least 75 percent of LA Times foreign news stories will have some contextual analysis.

In terms of sources and story characters, Wilhoit and Weaver determined that most international news is “official” news, focusing on stories that flow from government and involve “official” sources and characters.36 In terms of gender, Bridge found that women were portrayed in a stereotypical manner in international news stories,37 and Miller found depictions of women to be the following: positive, 45 percent; neutral, 25 percent; and negative or mixed, 30 percent. Women accounted for only 20 percent of those in photographs.38 Finally, Goodman found that, in terms of coverage of U.S.-China relations, unofficial sources were from two to three times as common as official sources.39

In terms of general (and not international-specific) coverage, various studies have shown that men outnumber women in text-by two-to-one40 and four– to-one.41 Stereotyping also spans to age, with various studies showing an overrepresentation of adults.42

Thus, the current study hypothesizes that if the LA Times is properly covering international affairs, women, children and the elderly (more than 65) will appear regularly in foreign news-and that photo and story sources and characters will not be predominantly government and military officials.


A content analysis was conducted using randomly selected stories from four constructed-week samples of the Los Angeles Times home edition from August 1997 through July 1998. A total of 338 stories and 275 photos composed the data set.

Coders, who were graduate students in journalism, analyzed all stories and photos that focused on a foreign nation or group of such nations. Stories and photos were considered international in nature if they dealt primarily with a foreign nation-regardless of dateline. Sports stories and photos were excluded because of the mix of players from various countries on teams from other countries.

An assortment of variables was selected and defined for coders.43 In terms of text, coders included both copy and headlines. They noted story length and type (breaking news, feature or editorial/commentary); geographic region that was the focal point of the story; presumed impact of headlines and text on the reader; sources and story characters; story context; and role of the United States in the story. There were 18 domains (including military, disaster, human interest, business and politics and government) and 11 frames (including violence, terrorism, advancement, normalcy and conflict and rebellion). Dominant sources and dominant story characters were coded as the first person appearing in such roles in a story.

In terms of photographs, coders relied on captions only for identification of presented individuals and geographic regions. They noted photo size, geographic region where the photo originated, presumed photo impact, people in photos and role of the United States. They used the same 18 domains, and people in photos also were coded in terms of age, gender and occupation (ranging from entertainer to politician and ordinary person to government or political leader).

Overall coder agreement, via Scott’s Pi, was 89 percent for the text component and 87 percent for photos-with all variables exceeding 75 percent agreement.44


General Findings

The study showed that Times correspondents provided bylines for almost 62 percent of the foreign news stories-with most of the rest coming from news service dispatches. The coded stories primarily appeared, by proportion, in the front (73 percent) and business (9 percent) sections. Breaking news comprised 73 percent of the stories, with feature stories at 13 percent and editorials and commentaries making up the remainder. The most common geographic regions were Asia, 29 percent; Middle East, 15 percent; Western Europe, 10 percent; and Russia and the former Soviet States, 9 percent. The most common story domains were politics and government (48 percent), economics (12 percent), crime (11 percent), military (8 percent) and business (8 percent). Only 4 percent of the stories fell into the disaster domain and 7 percent under arts and entertainment. The other domains all came in below 6 percent.

Times photographers provided 28 percent of the photos-with most of the rest coming from news services. Asia and Western Europe were the focal point of the most photographs, at 27 percent and 25 percent, respectively, and the most popular photo domains were social/human interest (23 percent), politics/ government (18 percent), arts/entertainment (11 percent) and economics (8 percent).

Tests of Hypotheses

As noted earlier, the hypotheses were created as benchmarks for the analysis of contemporary news coverage in the LA Times. If a hypothesis is supported, it suggests that the newspaper is doing an excellent job of covering global affairs and news happenings. (see Table 1)

The first hypothesis suggested that the LA Times would focus more on foreign news than it did in the 1980s.

In this regard, it is interesting to note that the NAB reports, the Emery study and the current study use slightly different measures for foreign news 45 The NAB study drew conclusions about all U.S. dailies, while Emery focused on foreign dateline stories in 10 U.S. dailies. The current study focuses on all stories in the LA Times that had a primary focus on a foreign nation.

Using this definition, the current study showed that international news comprised 19 percent of the paper’s total news hole. The findings for international photos appear to be similar, with almost 16 percent of all photos being international in nature.

Also supported was the hypothesis that most foreign news coverage in the LA Times would deal with developing, and not developed, nations. When the developed world was defined as being Canada, Western Europe and Asia, these areas made up 42 percent of the international text coverage and 55 percent of the international photos. The text data were consistent with the findings of Wilhoit, Weaver and Kirat.46 The photo percentage was consistent with Langton’s finding that the developed world received 52 percent of photo coverage-and, more specifically, that 54 percent of LA Times international photos dealt with the developed world.47

Also supported was the hypothesis that foreign news in the LA Times would focus heavily on Latin America and Asia because of their geographic and cultural proximity to Los Angeles. Fifteen percent of the stories dealt with Latin America, and 29 percent with Asia. The percentages for Asia, as well as Mexico (9 percent) and South America (5 percent), were much higher and those for Western Europe were much lower than those found in the previously cited studies. For photos, the percentages were 13 percent and 27 percent for Latin America and Asia, respectively. There was also an interesting difference in coverage of Western Europe in terms of photos and text. The region garnered 10 percent of the stories and 25 percent of the photographs.

Support was mixed in terms of the hypothesis that LA Times foreign news coverage would be relatively positive in nature and dominated by positive news domains and not violence, crisis and disaster, especially when dealing with the developing world. Headlines were largely negative (39 percent as compared to just 11 percent positive), as were stories themselves (51 percent as compared to 28 percent).

Text domains were less conclusive, with only 25 percent of the stories fitting into the negative domains of crime, disaster, military or social unrest. In fact, there were only slightly more stories framed through conflict and violence than through advancement and normalcy.

In general, photos offered a more positive vision of the world, with only 10 percent falling into the negative domain categories of crime, disaster, military and social unrest, which was much lower than the figure in the 1989 Langton study.48 Positive domains such as social/human interest (23 percent) and art/ entertainment (11 percent) also fared well as compared to the Langton study. The most important figure here, however, is the presumed photo impact-with the study showing that most photos were neutral, with 16 percent negative and 10 percent positive.

Coverage of the developing world was especially negative. Headlines were more negative, 44 percent as compared to 33 percent positive (chi-square=6.015, p

Although the percentages were considerably lower, the same held true for photographs-with the developed world depicted in a negative domain 4 percent of the time, as compared to 12 percent for the developing world (chisquare=5.315, p

There were two hypotheses that suggested that the United States would not be central to most LA Times international news. In terms of text, this hypothesis was supported, as the United States was only a central focus in 39 percent of the stories. This is a low percentage, considering the fact that Wilhoit and Weaver determined that international news deals with issues involving the United States more than half the time.50 Furthermore, the study demonstrated that 37 percent of the stories mentioned effects of an event on the United States-while 75 percent mentioned effects on a foreign nation.

Similarly, it was hypothesized that LA Times coverage would use non– westerners more often than westerners regardless of geographic region. The study did support this hypothesis. Sources and story characters were more likely to be non-Western. In terms of story sources, 57 percent were non– Western, as well as 62 percent of story characters. Dominant sources were 60 percent non-Western, and dominant characters were 68 percent non-Western. Sixty-eight percent of all photo characters and 63 percent of dominant photo characters were from non-Western nations.

Another hypothesis involved story context, suggesting that LA Times coverage would be rife with various types of context. This hypothesis was supported. The Times provided context in 88 percent of its international stories. The type of context also showed variety: historical, 58 percent; social, 24 percent; economic, 34 percent; political, 60 percent; and environmental, 6 percent.

The final hypothesis stated that LA Times foreign news coverage would have women, children and the elderly (over 65) appearing regularly, as well as ordinary people and not just government and military officials.

The data did not support this hypothesis. Sources were almost six times as likely to be men as women. The same held true for story characters, by a seven– to-one margin. In terms of the dominant source and story characters, the figures were almost five-to-one and more than seven-to-one, respectively. Photo characters were more likely to be men, as well-but only by a 2.65-to-one margin. Also, women appeared as the dominant person in about one-third as many photos as did men.

In terms of people in stories, there were almost eight times more adults than children and teens combined-and almost three times more adults than elderly. In addition, children appeared as the dominant story character only 3 percent of the time, with the elderly much more likely, at 30 percent. In terms of total people in photos, there were seven times more adults than children and teens combined-and more than 13 times more adults than elderly. Children appeared in photos as the dominant actor only 4 percent of the time, while the elderly dominated in 7 percent of photos.

There were mixed results in terms of “official” vs. “ordinary” people in the news. Story characters were seven times more likely to be government or military than ordinary people, with sources more than five times more likely. In terms of photos, however, 27 percent of the dominant photo characters were ordinary people, compared to 17 percent government or military.


This study helps define the texture of foreign news coverage in a metropolitan daily at the end of the millennium. It shows that a newspaper with profound international news aspirations and a diverse readership base, such as the Los Angeles Times, can rise above traditional problems in foreign news coverage and set a positive model for other metropolitan dailies to follow in the future, as the United States becomes ever more diversified.

The study largely suggests that the Los Angeles Times has been successful in its attempt to cover the world for its diverse community. To begin with, it is apparent that the LA Times has prioritized foreign news coverage. Although the news hole measures are different for various cited studies, it is impressive that foreign news, under the current study’s definition, made up 19 percent of the newspaper’s total news hole.

In addition, the LA Times offered more context than expected, and its coverage focused heavily on Asian and Latin American affairs, which gibes well with the Los Angeles area’s prominent Asian and Latino populations. The figures for coverage of Asia and Latin America were impressive-29 percent for Asia and 15 percent for Latin America in terms of text and 27 percent and 13 percent, respectively, in terms of photography.

Also on the positive side, the study found that the LA Times does not foist the United States and other western nations into the news of the world. American and other western sources were found at lower than expected rates.

Coverage, especially in terms of text, showed that the LA Times is attempting to show a broad picture of the world. The study determined that the LA Times focuses more on the developing world than newspapers did during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, although it did not exceed expectations that rose from the more recent studies of Langton and Wilhoit, Weaver and Kirat.51 An interesting point is that the developed world received 42 percent of the international text coverage and 55 percent of international photo coverage, and, more specifically, Western Europe garnered 10 percent of stories, but 25 percent of photographs. We offer three potential explanations for this gap: 1) there were more developed-world stand-alone photos; 2) photographers were more numerous in the developed world; or 3) photographs of the developed world were deemed more newsworthy.

There were other weaknesses in the foreign news coverage. Similar to the findings of other studies, international coverage in the LA Times was more negative than positive, except in terms of domains, where the findings were mixed between positive and negative domains for text and slanted toward the positive for photographs. Coverage of the developing world was more negative and laden with negative news frames and domains than that of the developed world. This suggests that the Times still faces problems in terms of negative news coverage.

Women, the elderly and children were invisible in foreign news-especially in text. Men were far more likely than women to show up as sources and story characters, dominant or secondary. The numbers were more favorable in terms of photography, though, with the margin being only 2.65 to 1 for total characters and 3 to 1 for dominant characters. This indicates that the LA Times struggles in its attempts to portray women. In contrast, it is interesting to note that the portrayal of women in a more positive light than men supported the findings of Bridge and others,52 but were contrary to those of Miller.53

The text coverage of ordinary people was problematic, as well, with story characters and story sources seven times and five times, respectively, more likely to be government or military than ordinary people. This supported Wilhoit and Weaver’s contention that “official” matters are newsworthy.54 Photographers showed a different pattern, targeting 27 percent ordinary people as dominant, as compared to just 17 percent for “official” types. That ordinary people gain significantly more exposure strikes at the question of whether text is more conducive to a certain tenor of coverage than is photography. Photographing an ordinary person in the international context is a more common and probably simpler matter than seeking out an ordinary person to be a source. The language barrier may be an important reason for this difference.

The Los Angeles Times, with its expansive reporting team, takes several steps to improve upon historical standards of global news coverage. The Times offered a great deal of foreign news coverage, especially of Latin America and Asia. The Los Angeles Times did not focus on international news happenings that involved only the United States, nor did it rely primarily on western news sources. Finally, foreign news coverage in the newspaper showed an impressive amount of contextual information.

This study suggests that the Los Angeles Times, with its international focus and “international” local community, is an excellent model for other metropolitan dailies. It suggests that American journalism will need to continue evolving as the world grows closer and more closely interrelated, and the United States moves toward a vastly more diverse ethnic face.


1. Michael Emery, “An Endangered Species: The International News Hole,” Freedom Forum Media Studies Journal 3 (fall 1989): 151-164.

2. David Weaver and G. Cleveland Wilhoit, “Foreign News Coverage in Two U.S. Wire Services,” Journal of Communication 31 (spring 1981): 66-63; G. Cleveland Wilhoit and David Weaver. “Foreign News Coverage in Two U.S. Wire Services: An Update,” Journal of Communication 33 (spring 1983): 132-148.

3. James Carey, “The Dark Continent of American Journalism,” in Readings in the News, eds. R. K. Manoff & M. Schudson (New York: Pantheon, 1986), 146-196; S. Hall, “The Rediscovery of ‘Ideology’: Return of the Repressed in Media Studies” in Culture, Society and the Media, M. Gurevitch,

T. Bennett, J. Curran, and J. Woolacott, eds. (London: Methuen, 1982), 56-90; Todd Gitlin, The Whole World is Watching (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980); Kevin M. Carragee, “News and Ideology,” Journalism & Mass Communication Monographs 128 (Columbia, SC: Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, 1991).

4. Johan Galtung and Mari Holmboe Ruge, “The Structure of Foreign News.” Journal of Peace Research 1 (1965) 64-91.

5. California State Department of Finance, County Population Projections with Age, Sex and Race/ Ethnic Detail: July 1, 1990-2040 in 10-year Increments. Demographic Research Unit. (Sacramento, 1998).

6. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States, prepared by the Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census (Washington, D.C., 1999).

7. William H. Frey, “The Diversity Myth,” American Demographics (June 1998): 42.

8. Tony Case, “Newspapers,” Advertising Age 69 (April 1998): Sl.

9. Martin Gilens, “Race and Poverty in America: Public Misperceptions and the American News Media,” Public Opinion Quarterly 60 (winter 1996): 515-541; Erving Goffman, Gender Advertisements (New York: Harper & Row, 1979); Sammye Johnson and William G. Christ, “Women through Time: Who Gets Covered?” Journalism Quarterly 65 (winter 1988): 889-97.

10. Susan H. Miller, “The Content of News Photos: Women’s and Men’s Roles.” Journalism Quarterly 52 (spring 1975): 70-75.

11. Emery, “International News Hole.”

12. Carl Sessions Stepp, “Then and Now,” American Journalism Review 21 (September 1999): 60.

13. Paul M. Davis, “Foreign News: A Casual Disinterest,” The Quill 77 (April 1989): 43-47.

14. John Merrill, The Elite Press (New York: Pitman Publishing Co, 1986); Al Hester, “An Analysis of News Flow From Developed and Developing Nations,” Gazette 17, no. 1/2 (1971): 2943; Al Hester, “The News from Latin America via a World News Agency,” Gazette 20, no. 2 (1974): 83-98; W. A. E. Skurnik, “A New Look at Foreign News Coverage: External Dependence or National Interests?” African Studies Review 24 (March 1981):99-112; James W. Markham, “Foreign News in the United States and South American Press,” Public Opinion Quarterly 17 (summer 1953): 249-262; Jim Hart, “Foreign News in U.S. and English Daily Newspapers: A Comparison,” Journalism Quarterly 43 (autumn 1966): 443-448.

15. Weaver and Wilhoit, “Foreign News Coverage;” Wilhoit and Weaver, “Update.”

16. Mohamed Kirat and David Weaver, “Foreign News Coverage in Three Wire Services: A Study of AP, UPI, and the Nonaligned News Agency Pool” (paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Gainesville, August 1984).

17. Loup Langton, “Third World Coverage in Four Prestige U.S. Newspapers” (paper presented to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Washington, D.C., August 1989).

18. George Zipf, “Some Determinants of Circulation of Information.” American Journal of Psychology 59 (July, 1946): 401-421; Malcolm S. Maclean Jr. and Luca Pinna, “Distance and News Interest: Scarperia, Italy,” Journalism Quarterly 35 (winter 1958): 36-48; George Gerbner and George Marvanyi, “The Many Worlds of the World’s Press,” Journal of Communication 27 (winter 1977): 5266.

19. Sunwoo Nam, “The Flow of International News in Korea,” Gazette 16, no. 1 (1970): 14; Ronald G. Hicks and Avishag Gordon, “Foreign News Content in Israeli and U.S. Newspapers,” Journalism Quarterly 51 (winter 1974): 639-644.

20. Galtung and Ruge “The Structure of Foreign News;” Karl E. Rosengren, “International News,” Acta Sociologica 13, no. 2 (1970): 96-100.

21. Haoming Denis Wu, “Geographic Distance and U.S. Newspaper Coverage of Canada and Mexico,” Gazette 60 (1998): 253-263.

22. Markham, “Foreign News;” Hart “Foreign News in U.S. and English Daily Newspapers;” Kirat and Weaver, “Foreign News Coverage in Three Wire Services.”

23. Robert M. Entman, Framing: “Toward Clarification of Fractured Paradigm,” Journal of Communication 43 (autumn 1993): 51-58; Gerald M. Kosicki. “Problems and Opportunities in Agenda-Setting Research,” Journal of Communication 43 (spring 1993):100-127; Zhongdang Pan and Gerald M. Kosicki, “Framing Analysis: An Approach to News Discourse,” Political Communication

9 (Jan-March 1993): 55-76.

24. Annabelle Sreberny-Mohammadi, Kaarle Nordenstreng, Robert Stevenson, and Frank Ugboajah, “A New Look at Foreign News Coverage: External Dependence or National Interests?” African Studies Review 24 (1980): 99-112.; John A. Lent, “Foreign News in American Media,” Journal of Communication 27 (winter 1977): 46-51; J. B. Adams, “A Qualitative Analysis of Domestic and Foreign News on the AP TA Wire,” Gazette 10 (1964): 285-295.

25. Weaver and Wilhoit, “Foreign News Coverage.”

26. Kirat and Weaver, “Foreign News Coverage in Three Wire Services.”

27. Weaver and Wilhoit, “Foreign News Coverage;” Wilhoit and Weaver, “Update;” Kirat and Weaver, “Foreign News Coverage in Three Wire Services.”

28. Hart, “Foreign News in U.S. and English Newspapers.”

29. Robyn S. Goodman, “Prestige Press Coverage of US-China Policy during the Cold War’s Collapse and Post-Cold War Years,” Gazette 61 (1999): 391-410.

30. Langton, “Third World Coverage.”

31. Kuo-jen Tsang, “News Photos in Time and Newsweek,” Journalism Quarterly 61 (autumn 1984): 578-723.

32. Hicks and Gordon, “Foreign News Content;” Tsan-Kuo Chang, Pamela J. Shoemaker, and Nancy Brendlinger, “Determinants of International News Coverage in the U.S. Media,” Communication Research 14 (August 1987): 396-414.

33. Weaver and Wilhoit, “Foreign News Coverage.”

34. Wilhoit and Weaver, “Update.”

35. Jane E. Stevens, “Integrating the Public Health Perspective into Reporting on Violence,” Nieman Reports 52 (winter 1998): 38-40.

36. Weaver and Wilhoit, “Foreign News Coverage;” Wilhoit and Weaver, “Update.”

37. M. Junior Bridge, “Slipping from the Scene: Coverage of Females Drops” in S. Biagi and M. Kem-Foxworth, eds., Facing Difference: Race, Gender, and Mass Media (Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press, 1997), 102-112.

38. Miller, “Content of News Photos.”

39. Goodman, “Prestige Press Coverage.”

40. P. Y. Byers and L. Eikenmeyer, “A Content Analysis of Women in Local and College Newspapers during the Year of the Woman” (paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association, New Orleans, LA, November 1994).

41. Shelly Rodgers and Esther Thorson, “The Visual Representation of Gender, Age and Ethnicity: A Content Analysis of the Los Angeles Times,” working paper, 1999.

42. C. Aronoff, “Old Age in Prime Time.” Journal of Communication 24 (autumn 1974): 86-87; E. J. Broussard, C. R. Blackmon, D. L. Blackwell, D. W. Smith, and S. Hunt “News of the Aged and Aging in 10 Metropolitan Dailies,” Journalism Quarterly 57 (summer 1980): 324-327; Rodgers and Thorson. “Visual Representation.”

43. For a comprehensive list of variables and related definitions, please contact the authors at School of Journalism, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65201.

44. William A. Scott, “Reliability and Content Analysis: The Case of Nominal Scale Coding,” Public Opinion Quarterly 19 (spring 1955): 281-287.

45. Emery, “International News Hole.”

46. Weaver and Wilhoit, “Foreign News Coverage;” Wilhoit and Weaver, “Update;” Kirat and Weaver, “Foreign News Coverage in Three U.S. Wire Services.”

47. Langton, “Third World Coverage.”

48. Ibid.

49. Ibid.

50. Wilhoit and Weaver, “Update.”

51. Langton, “Third World Coverage;” Weaver and Wilhoit, “Foreign News Coverage;” Wilhoit and Weaver, “Update;” Kirat and Weaver, “Foreign News Coverage in Three U.S. Wire Services.”

52. Bridge, “Coverage of Female Drops.”

53. Miller, “Content of News Photos.”

54. Weaver and Wilhoit “Foreign News Coverage;” Wilhoit and Weaver, “Update.”

by Christopher E. Beaudoin and Esther Thorson

Beaudoin is a doctoral student and Thorson is the associate dean in the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Copyright Newspaper Research Journal, Department of Journalism, University of Memphis Winter 2001

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