Newspapers provide a wide variety of information on a daily basis, ranging from politics and economics to topics related to daily life. Newspapers, of course, determine the content of their coverage, and the manner and volume of their coverage have a great influence on the formation of people's interests, which in turn are influenced by the interests of the readers, our own. The two are combined and the eyes of society, which shifts daily, focus mainly on which fields and regions? In the limited volume of international news coverage, which accounts for only about 10% of Japan's total news volume, there is a clear line between topics that attract attention and those that do not.
The figure above shows the percentages by field in all international coverage by the Asahi, Yomiuri, and Mainichi newspapers in 2015. All three newspapers rank in descending order of percentage: politics, wars/conflicts, economics, society, and incidents/accidents (*1). Even the specific figures are very similar, which can be said to be the order of priority for international coverage provided by Japanese newspapers.
What then is the volume of coverage by region and by sector?
The above figure (Regional Classification by UN Statistics DivisionAs indicated by (1), most regions, in accordance with the overall percentage, are reporting mainly on politics. It is worth noting that there is a significant regional difference in the share of conflict-related matters. This is particularly true for Africa, which is quite distinctive compared to the other five regions, with 42.11 TP3T of conflict-related coverage compared to 24.81 TP3T of politics.
Here is a comparison of the global conflict situation in 2015 and the percentage of conflict coverage by region.
Conflicts are concentrated in Africa and the Middle East region. The Middle East (West Asia" in the regional classification of the United Nations Statistics Division.More than half of all Middle East coverage in the region is conflict-related, with politics accounting for less than 30%. For regions with critical conflict issues, it appears that more conflict-related information is disseminated than politics or other topics.
However, there is one region where the percentage of conflict articles is clearly larger than the actual situation. Europe. The conflict coverage, which accounts for about 30% of the total European coverage, is mostly related to the two terrorist attacks in France and the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
The high level of public attention to these two issues in Europe is even more evident in the absolute volume of coverage.
Asia, including the Middle East, and Europe are the two largest sources of conflict coverage. Conversely, only a very small amount of information on the crisis in Africa, which is home to many conflict zones, is available in terms of volume. The scale of the problem cannot be measured in terms of the number of deaths,35,220 deaths from conflict in Africa in 2015（The reality is that information on the number of deaths (from combat only) is outweighed by information on the number of deaths from terrorism in France, which is about 150.
There are many contradictions regarding the media coverage of Africa. The small amount of reporting in relation to the number of conflicts, but on the other hand, the large percentage of conflict reporting, combined with the lack of information, forms an unclear and negative impression in people's minds. The fact that only about one-fifth of Africa's countries are colored on the map, even though there are many conflicts, indicates the existence of other areas of information that need to be known.
The general view in the area of international news coverage in Japan is that, in terms of overall volume, information on politics is the main focus in most regions as well, with the only exception being with regard to conflict-prone regions, where conflict coverage outweighs politics. A comparison of the percentage and absolute volume of conflict coverage by region and the actual conflict situation shows that the region in which the conflict occurs is a more important factor in attracting public interest than the number or scale of conflicts.
Finally, I would like to question the reduction of information on politics in conflict-ridden regions such as the Middle East and Africa. It is not easy to grasp the overall picture of armed conflicts, which have become increasingly complex in recent years. However, in order to understand the issues from a broader perspective, it is necessary to have sufficient information on the political and social situation, as well as knowledge of the assumptions made in the region. Within the limited international coverage, the large differences between the regions that are covered and those that are not, and between topics that receive attention in different regions and those that do not, will have a direct impact on the way people view the world.
The five items in *1 and the graph encompass the following
."GNV Data Analysis Methods [PDF].See also
War/conflict: war/conflict, military, terrorism, demonstrations/riot
Society: Sports, Science, Technology and Environment / Pollution, Education and the Arts / Culture and Society / Life and Health / Medical Care
Incidents/Accidents: Incidents, Accidents, Weather/Disasters
All percentages in *2, Figures 1, 2, and 3 depend on the number of letters.
*3, Major national newspapers in Japan means the Asahi Shimbun, the Mainichi Shimbun, and the Yomiuri Shimbun.
Writer: Miho Kono
Graphics: Yosuke Tomino