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  • Author: Pierre Cotterlaz, Etienne Fize
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales (CEPII)
  • Abstract: This paper documents the effect of information frictions on trade using a historical large-scale improvement in the transmission of news: the emergence of global news agencies. The information available to potential traders became more abundant, was delivered faster and at a cheaper price between countries covered by a news agency. Exploiting differences in the timing of telegraph openings and news agency coverage across pairs of countries, we are able to disentangle the pure effect of information from the effect of a reduction in communication costs. Panel gravity estimates reveal that bilateral trade increased by 30\% more for pairs of countries covered by a news agency and connected by a telegraph than for pairs of countries simply connected by a telegraph.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Partnerships, Media, News Analysis, Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Institute of Peace (EIP)
  • Abstract: ​Fake news, misinformation, and hate speech have thrived in the Ethiopian media ecosystem, and particularly online. This is strongly correlated with significant, tragic, real-world consequences, exacerbated pre-existing tensions, and contributed to violence and conflict. To date, the Government of Ethiopia’s response to combating the spread of fake news, misinformation, and hate speech has been, by necessity, heavy-handed, with the go-to response to escalation being to turn off the internet for the entire country. The vulnerability assessment aims to outline an approach and framework to improve the understanding of fake news, misinformation, and hate speech in Ethiopia, to develop a more nuanced and tailored approach to addressing a real national challenge. While this study is preliminary and indicative, drawing on a relatively small sample size, it is hoped that it can be illustrative and used to improve the national conversation regarding the federal response to fake news, misinformation, and hate speech. Still, it does not claim to be and should not be considered the final word on the matter. The assessment found that Ethiopia’s media ecosystem’s weaknesses have made it vulnerable to fake news, misinformation, and hate speech. Some of the driving factors are undoubtedly historical, including the weak state of private media in Ethiopia, the critical role of the Ethiopian diaspora in media ownership, and the proliferation and wild rise in popularity of entertainment-news page services Facebook and Twitter. The report proposes a pro-active and risk-based approach, which identifies likely and potentially fake news, misinformation, and hate speech flashpoints and lays out the actions that will be required to mitigate them.
  • Topic: Communications, Mass Media, Media, News Analysis, Hate Speech, Disinformation, Misinformation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Malik Adnan, Muhammad Bilal Nawaz, Rao Shahid Mahood Khan
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: Spread of fake news has been rapidly increased in recent months and the determinants that lead the sharing of misleading information is not well studied. Henceforth, this study analyzes the result of a Pakistani sample (n=385) regarding proliferation of fake news regarding COVID-19. This phenomenon was studied by using uses and gratification framework it was extended by the altruistic motivation. An explanatory research design was followed, data was collected through questionnaire based on prior studies and respondents were approached through different social media websites and answers were collected through Google forms by following convenient sampling technique. Acquired responses were analyzed through regression model to investigate the magnitude of effects among the six categories of study on the result of fake news sharing. Findings showed that altruistic motivation was the main predictor of fake news sharing of COVID-19. Furthermore, other predictors i.e. motivation for information sharing, socialization gratification, motivation for seeking information and passing time were contributing in sharing fake news about COVID-19, while no relationship was found between entertainment motivation. This research suggested some theoretical and practical implications.
  • Topic: Media, Social Media, News Analysis, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Fake News
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A survey of how regional media outlets discussed the congressional impeachment process and its potential ramifications on the 2020 presidential election. Across the Middle East, the story of President Trump’s impeachment and subsequent acquittal received secondtier coverage compared to regional or local issues. Many Arabic-language websites and newspapers translated and republished Western articles as opposed to creating their own content on the issue, such as Al Jazeera publishing a translated version of a Guardian editorial. Moreover, the bulk of the articles just explained the facts or process of impeachment rather than expounding on its significance. Some celebrated the idea that there is a mechanism for peaceful removal of a leader. Most commented on the unlikelihood of Trump’s removal and how America is facing unprecedented polarization. Those articles that did offer their own editorial content were split on whether impeachment will help or hurt Trump’s election campaign. Publications in the Gulf states tended to portray impeachment as an act of “political vengeance” by Democrats against Trump, “who won despite their opposition” (Sky News Arabia). Most Gulf papers posited that Trump will ultimately benefit in the 2020 election “after proving his innocence before the Senate” (Al Seyassah). Yet Qatari coverage deviated from the general Gulf trend. For example, one Al Jazeera article asserted that the impeachment case against Trump “is simple, and established not only by officials speaking under oath, but by his own words and actions.” Egyptian newspapers were more split on how impeachment will affect the election. Anti-American outlets in Syria suggested it will hurt him, with Al Baath noting “all data indicate that Trump’s hope for a return to the White House have faded.” Lebanese publications tended to take a more neutral view. The Hezbollah-controlled newspaper Al Akhbar wrote that the prospect of impeachment weakening Trump’s electoral campaign “is similar to that of his potential main rival,” arguing that Joe Biden was also tainted by the process. Most Iranian media tended to copy Western sources, but two themes prevailed among outlets offering original content: portrayal of impeachment as a scandal that has tainted Trump’s presidential legacy, or neutral analysis of how impeachment may or may not harm his reelection chances. A few analytical pieces suggested that he might be able to transform the scandal into an asset for his campaign, since it may “lead to more popularity among the middle class.” While most Iranian articles leaned against Trump, few appeared to praise Democrats. Turkish articles generally depicted impeachment as a “gift” to Trump’s campaign. SETA, a think tank that supports President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, claimed that what “hasn’t killed Trump will make him stronger.” Sabah News, another pro-Erdogan source, wrote that impeachment will “unite Republican senators and members of the House of Representatives around him.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Media, News Analysis, Domestic politics, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Juraj Nosal
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, St. Andrews University, Scotland
  • Abstract: This paper examined framing of online news reporting on terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom. The sample consisted of the articles published on three British news websites about six major terrorist attacks that took place in Europe between 2015 and 2017. The research aimed to identify and compare dominant news frames on the websites and discuss to what degree online reporting on terrorism contributes to the promotion of terror and violence. The study employed an inductive approach based on computer-assisted qualitative content analysis, which was complemented by quantitative content analysis of the article’s main textual elements such as headlines, leads, and concluding paragraphs. The analysis identified 20 dominant news frames: seven in MailOnline, six in The Independent and seven in The Telegraph. The study concluded that framing of news reporting on terrorist attacks does not significantly differ among the websites. Most frames contain similar framing packages and lexical choices, and can be grouped into broader sets that appear across the websites. Quantitative content analysis of the articles’ textual elements also showed very similar trends. Furthermore, the study found that online reporting on terrorist attacks significantly contributes to the promotion of terror and violence. This was clearly manifested in at least five identified news frames as well as by the results of quantitative content analysis.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Media, Internet, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Mohamed Abdelaziz, Shaina Katz
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Aglobalized world has meant that international media reactions to a policeman’s brutal killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, and the subsequent protests have been swift and comprehensive. Responses within the Arab media have shifted between attempts to explain to readers sociological fault lines and structural racism in the United States and pointed takes on what these protests might mean for the upcoming election—with the underlying question of what it might mean for the region. From a political perspective, images of protests are also shaped by the Arab governments’ responses to the Arab spring, when pro-democracy protests were crushed in many Arab states. Notably, and in contrast to media responses, there has been a shortage of statements from government officials, with Palestinian officials being the exception. While this silence can in part be attributed to the fact that the current protests in the United States are purely a domestic issue, it is also important to note that numerous state-aligned media outlets have offered characteristic viewpoints of their respective countries, suggesting an interest in indirect messaging on the protests without explicit comment.
  • Topic: Social Movement, Public Opinion, Media, News Analysis, Protests, Police, Racism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Atif Ashraf, Ghulam Shabbir
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: This study has been conducted to determine editorial independence of broadcast journalists in current political environment of Pakistan. Journalists from top news channels were approached to explore the political pressures that bar journalists to conduct their professional duties freely. Survey was conducted to asnalyse the level of media freedom based on perception of the professionals. It is found that political factors have a considerable influence on media practice. Freedom of media is being affected by the current democratic set-up of the country.
  • Topic: Politics, Media, News Analysis, Freedom of Expression, Journalism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Punjab
  • Author: Nat Kretchun
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Through the successive regimes of Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, and Kim Jong Un, North Korea has maintained near-total control over the information that reaches its citizens. Now, as more and more North Koreans use networked devices such as smartphones, the regime is employing modern forms of censorship and surveillance to control information and curtail freedom of expression. This report argues that the United States and its allies need a new information strategy to end the social isolation of the North Korean people and improve their long-term welfare.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Communications, Authoritarianism, Media, News Analysis, Peace
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis, Forecast, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Chile
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis, Forecast, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Iran