Framing Science

Over at The Intersection, Chris Mooney has a post up about the complete absence of U.S. news coverage dedicated to the record six tropical cyclones that have hit Madagascar, killing hundreds and causing massive damage.

It’s the old proximity norm creating bias in news coverage. The result, apart from any important disaster relief reaction, is that Americans fail to get a big picture about just how global the hurricane problem might be.

Six tropical cyclones hit Madagascar over the past couple months, but you wouldn’t know it if you lived in the U.S.


  1. #1 John Hunter
    April 4, 2007

    It is interesting to see it play out using Google News. The take on many stories is changed based not just nationality but locality too.

    Even inoquous things like announcing Nobel prize winners, where any local connection is played up.

    The internet also gives the “news consumer” a fairly easy ability to know what is going on if they care to, though many don’t care to. Outside the US the local bias still exists but there is less ignorance about what is going on elsewhere. I haven’t studied this in Google News but I bet you could see stories of international significance covered by many media from different countries and then a few stories with USA media coverage (and they US media would largely cover all the same stories would be my guess). And if some big USA media decide to cover say Sudan, then it is likely the others will to for a little while.

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