Consumers and suppliers: attention asymmetries. A case study of Al Jazeera’s news coverage and comments


In the last decades researchers have devoted a fair amount of effort to understand the news geography, i.e. a description of the general patterns for which countries are presented in which other countries’ news. These efforts presume that published opinion is a good enough proxy to infer such perception; indeed, that is the case when no other evidence is available. In this work we uncover a new point of view, that of consumers, relying on a rich data set related to the comments posted by users on the largest news media organization in the Middle East region, namely Aljazeera Network. Each comment comes with a body content, a unique identifier of the user, and her IP address, which makes it possible to infer the countries from which comments are posted. All in all, our analysis encompasses over 20,000 articles and more than 2 million comments posted by 90,000 unique readers. Such a rich data set allows us confronting for the first time –to the best of our knowledge– the producer-consumer standpoints.

Computational Journalism Symposium