Measuring Peace in the Media

Measuring Peace in the Media is a research report produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace and Media Tenor. Both organisations have jointly analysed global television networks’ coverage of peace and violence issues using a fact-based approach which compares various measures from the Global Peace Index against Media Tenor’s database of global media.

Measuring Peace in the Media covers over 160,000 news items from 31 news and current affairs programs that air on four continents. Each of the news networks covered on average 70 countries. The TV program with the broadest coverage was the BBC World Service which covered 119 countries.

The report explores the media coverage, or lack of coverage, of peace and conflict with a special emphasis on news themes that may help to create stable, peaceful societies. It is evident from the research that the structures that create peace are not well covered in the least peaceful countries.

Key findings:

• The only two networks which were either 50% accurate or more were SABC News @ One and ABC World News with 56% and 50% accuracy, respectively.

• War, conflict and violence are the most widely covered events.

• The number violence reports aligned in direct proportion to the actual level of violence on the country being reported.

• The Arab Spring countries saw a rise in the number of reports, especially on topics such as ‘the functioning of government’ as well as war and violence.

• Based on the Structures of Peace taxonomy, critical topics such as the ‘Distribution of Resources’ received almost no coverage.

• On average, the number of negative reports far exceeds news reports which are positive in tone.

• Countries which have most declined in peacefulness received approximately thirteen times the level of coverage than countries which have most improved in peacefulness.

• Consistent with the data and observations, relatively peaceful countries tend to receive the majority of their international coverage due to exceptional violence or disaster related news stories.

Launch of Measuring Peace in the Media at Davos
Measuring Peace in the Media 2011 was launched a Davos 2012. Speakers at the event included: Ibrahim Negm, senior advisor to the Grand Mufti, Salil Shetty, Secretary-General of Amnesty International, the CEO of Media Tenor Roland Schatz and Steve Killelea, founder of the Institute for Economics and Peace.

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Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.

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