Determinants of International News Coverage in the U.S. Media

Tsan-Kuo Chang, Pamela J. Shoemaker, Nancy Brendlinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


This article goes beyond describing media content and places it in a broader theoretical framework by examining some determinants that have been considered important in the study of international news flow. The article attempts to identify the factors that best differentiate those international events that are covered in the U.S. news media from events that are not. The dependent variable was media coverage of international events. Based on previous studies, seven variables were selected as predictors to separate the two groups: potential for social change, normative deviance, relevance to the United States, geographical distance, language affinity, press freedom, and economic system. A stepwise discriminant analysis was used to distinguish between the covered events and not-covered events, emphasizing identification of the most powerful discriminators. Results show that four variables contribute significantly to the discriminant function in distinguishing between covered events and not-covered events: normative deviance of an event, relevance to the United States, potential for social change, and geographical distance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-414
Number of pages19
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1987


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