Visualizing foreign news coverage

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The challenge in international news research is identifying patterns in foreign news reporting, which cover thousands of events in hundreds of countries, but visualization seems to be useful. This chat summarizes foreign news coverage by the New York Times between 2012 and 2014 with heatmaps, where rows and columns respectively representing the most frequent countries and the most significant events (or groups of events).

For example, bright cells in rows labeled SY show coverage on the Syrian civil war by the newspaper. In 2012, the civil war was the fifth most important event (E5), and it then became the second most important event (E2) in 2013, although the newspaper shifted its focus to the Ukraine crisis (E2) in 2014, making the Syrian civil war insignificant. In 2015, however, the Syrian civil war became the second most important event again. Further, in this year, Syria is also high in E8, which is the European refugee crisis, along with Greece (Greece), Iraq (IQ), and the UK (GB). Germany (DE) is also significant in the event, although the country does not appear in the chart as it is only 12th from the top.

heatmap5_nyt

This chart was created from news summaries geographically classified by Newsmap. For each of the years, a date-country matrix was created and its date dimension were reduced by SVD to identify the 10 most important events. Scores for countries were centered and normalized for each event.

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