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About the Event: We consider how the U.S. news media reports on international affairs. Analyzing ≈40 million news articles published between 2010 and 2020, we explore whether the American news media report differently on various international affairs topics based on partisan leanings. We then analyze ≈25 million articles published by top online news sites to determine whether collective reporting shows disparities between the level of attention afforded major global issues and objective measures of their human costs (e.g. numbers of individuals killed). We find that left- and right-leaning news outlets tend to report on international affairs at similar rates but differ significantly in their likelihood of referencing particular issues. We find further strong evidence that the frequency of reporting on the international issues we study tracks only modestly with their associated human costs. Given evidence U.S. public and policymakers dependence on news reports for foreign affairs information, our findings raise fundamental questions about the influence of these reporting biases.
About the Speakers: Andrew Shaver is an assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Merced. He is a CISAC affiliate and a former postdoctoral research fellow within Stanford’s political science department. He is the founding director of the Political Violence Lab and focuses broadly on contemporary sub-state conflict. His research appears in outlets including the American Political Science Review, American Economic Review, Annual Review of Sociology, and Journal of Politics. Dr. Shaver has served in different foreign affairs/national security positions within the U.S. Government. He completed his PhD in Public Affairs at Princeton University's School of Public and International Affairs.
Amarpreet Kaur is a recent graduate of University of California, Merced with a bachelor in Public Health and a minor in Political science. Kaur has been working the lab for a year under the guidance of Professor Shaver. Kaur has aspirations to go on and get a PhD in Health Policy.
Robert Kraemer is a graduate student of data science at the University of Denver. Prior to this, Kraemer earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has been working in the Political Violence Lab with Professor Shaver for over a year, developing his research and analytic skills.