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Geopolitics of Representation

Rallying 'Round Their Own Flags: Bella Mody and Biases in Foreign News Coverage

Antonio Lambino's picture

While traveling abroad, watching or reading news stories about one’s home country can be an eye opening and, at times, disturbing experience.  Unless you come from one of the world’s most powerful countries or an up and coming economic titan, one would quickly get the sense that foreign coverage of the homestead, if any, tends to revolve around natural disasters, major scandals, changes in national leadership, and manmade crises.  I suppose it’s hard to expect otherwise, but there’s more to it than that.  In addition to selective framing and coverage driven by such “news values” as immediacy, recency, and conflict, there’s also national bias.  A recently published book by Prof. Bella Mody, entitled Geopolitics of Representation in Foreign News: Explaining Darfur, argues that the construction of foreign news coverage is determined by several factors, including history and context, on one hand, and national interest, on the other.