Do the Contents of Foreign News on Television Match Viewers’ Interests? A 12-Nation Study of Topics and Countries of Interest

Francis Lee, Knut De Swert, Akiba A. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article draws upon content analytic and survey data from a 12-nation comparative study to examine the question of content-interest correspondence (CIC) regarding foreign news on television. That is, to what extent do the contents of foreign news aired on television match the interests that viewers have regarding foreign news? Treating CIC as a variable, the data show that, among the nations studied, CIC concerning foreign countries covered in the news is generally stronger than CIC regarding news topics. At the same time, the analysis examines whether the level of CIC relates to several national, media system, and viewer characteristics. The analysis shows that larger nations exhibit higher levels of CIC regarding topics and lower levels of CIC regarding countries. Also, CIC regarding news topics is lower in countries where the ownership and revenue structure of the television system leans toward commercialism and where television news focuses more heavily on soft news. Implications of the findings and directions for further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)901-925
Number of pages25
JournalCommunication Research
Volume44
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • comparative research
  • content-interest correspondence
  • foreign news
  • news audience
  • television

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