“Ethan Zuckerman”:http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/ethan/ – philanthropist, academic and geek – has recently been “quantifying”:http://h2odev.law.harvard.edu/ezuckerman/ which countries are written about by which media outlets. Of particular interest to bloggers he has been comparing ‘mainstream news’ outlets to what the blogosphere talks about.
One possible methodological weakness – his study doesn’t seem to weight by impact or story length. If, say, NBC talks about Sudan once in the news for three minutes it may have more impact among Americans than a hundred mentions in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, the The Free Lance-Star etc (let alone the many overseas news sources on Google News). The same argument could be made about blog postings – if lots of ‘minor’ blogs post about the Sudan but none of the majors do, that is important to capture. Of course no research method is perfect and it is a lot easier to poke holes than suggest methods of one’s own. So hats off to Ethan for at least starting a debate!
Also see some analysis of the coverage of “The Sudan in particular”:http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/ethan/2004/05/27#a209 and in the comments I found references to “NKZone”:http://nkzone.typepad.com/nkzone/ a weblog about the biggest news black hole – North Korea.