Not All Countries Are Created Equal: Foreign Countries Prevalence in U.S. News and Entertainment Media

Dror Walter*, Tamir Sheafer, Lilach Nir, Shaul Shenhav

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Why do some countries appear more popular than others in mass media? Although researchers have long sought to explain foreign countries’ prevalence in the media, to date they have exclusively focused on news, leaving other types of media content unexplored. In addition, focusing on media effects and media content, the literature on entertainment and politics has largely ignored the study of agenda-building processes. Thus, this study fills these gaps by exploring factors affecting the volume of references to foreign countries in both U.S. news and entertainment media. Analyzing more than 400 U.S. television shows, four news channels, and two newspapers spanning from 2000 to 2011, we reexamine past findings on salience of foreign countries in the news and apply these findings to a new field of research, entertainment media. We further suggest that the same factors shaping foreign countries’ prevalence in the news media are applicable to both news and entertainment and that in the context of foreign countries’ prevalence, the criteria for “newsworthiness” and “fictionworthiness” is similar.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)522-541
Number of pages20
JournalMass Communication and Society
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Mass Communication & Society Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

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