Monday, 25 October 2010

Measuring Peace in the Media

The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and Media Tenor released a fact-based report today on ‘Measuring Peace in the Media’. The first study of its kind, the report brings into question the accuracy of how international television networks have been covering peace and conflict over the last four years.

The report is based on 37 TV news and current affairs programmes from 23 networks in 15 countries being cross-referenced with the Global Peace Index.

An overall theme of the report shows that the breadth of the subject matter covered by international media has a significant impact on how well audiences understand the culture of the country being covered. This is particularly interesting in the case of Afghanistan.

The report goes into significant detail on Afghanistan and finds that there is a disproportionate amount of coverage focusing on crime and defence, while crucial factors such as the functioning of government, distribution of resources and the business environment are neglected. Such factors are crucial to help build sustainable peace.

Over-reporting on violence is impeding peace in Afghanistan, as Roland Schatz, CEO of Media Tenor states ‘Informing the public on what will build long term peace and sustainability is vital to the war on terrorism’.

The report goes beyond the case study of Afghanistan and gives a detailed account of who’s reporting on who, focusing on different patterns of coverage from European, Middle Eastern and US broadcasters. The most interesting finding of this section shows that Middle Eastern broadcasters are more positive than European and US outlets.

Here is a snapshot of some other interesting facts that might surprise you…

- US TV networks broadcast more violence than other countries

- The 10 TV programmes reporting the most violence dedicate an average of 48% of their total coverage to violence

- The 10 TV programmes reporting the least violence dedicate an average of 24% of their coverage to violence

- Positive peace stories are just 1.6% of the total number of stories examined in this report

- Middle Eastern broadcasters are more positive than European and US outlets

The report beings to light the difference found between media networks, and lets just say the BBC deserves its good reputation. In terms of breadth and coverage, the BBC reports on almost twice as many countries as the average level of coverage.

You can find the full report here along with interviews on the subject with Amre Moussa, the Secretary General of the League of Arab States and the World Bank’s Nick van Praag. I strongly suggest taking time out and having a read. I look forward to many discussions to come on measuring peace in the media.


- See wikiprogress article on the Global Peace Index and find the data on Wikiprogress.Stat

Monday, 18 October 2010

Stats update from Trevor

Hello again to all our wikiprogress fans out there - its been a while since the last update and a lot has been happening in the wikiprogress world since I posted back in July.

For a start we now have a new interface in place that allows you to load your own progress related data into the wikiprogress database. The wiki-loader walks you through the steps involved in uploading data and metadata files. See for yourself just how simple it is to do. We already have 96 data sets in the system and we want yours as well... so get uploading people!

The most recent data set to be uploaded is called "Is life Getting Better" and includes 32 indicators of progress. It was uploaded by the Global Social Change Research Project and covers a diverse range of subjects such as climate, poverty, human rights, life expectancy - check it out.

We're also adding new features to the eXplorer data visualisation software with the help of our friends at NComVA thanks to Professor Mikael Jern and his team. 

And last but not least, 20/10 2010 is the first World Statistics day - there will be a lot of exciting events happening all over the globe to mark the event - check the official web site to find out what is happening near you! Also, have a look at how we plan to celebrate and support Wikiprogress by sharing this poster with your colleagues and friends.

Until next time... Trevor.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Interview with Sue Taylor

Interview with Sue Taylor from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on the electronic publication Measures of Australia's Progress 2010. This interview took place at the NatStats 2010 conference held last month in Sydney.