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European newspapers devote only 3.5% to development issues

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Monday, 31 May 2010

European newspapers devote only 3.5% to development issues

A study of nine mainstream Spanish, French and British newspapers released on 6 May reveals that only 3.5 % of their content is devoted to news about development co-operation. The research was carried out by the journalism department at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in partnership with IPS and the Spanish Agency for International Development Co-operation, AECID.  The most popular themes for news coverage about development co-operation are governance and democracy (31%), environmental protection (21.9%) and global governance (18.2%), representing over 70% of the total. In terms of journalistic genre, the research found that 80% were news articles and 20% were editorials. However, front page coverage is proportionally greater in the newspapers analysed (up to 4.8%) when compared to the general content average (3.5%). The front page coverage skews towards humanitarian aid during catastrophes, environmental protection and global governance. In geographic terms, news published in the leading newspapers of the country were not always proportionally related to the regions receiving most of the government’s official development aid. It is also worth highlighting that articles with a critical view on cooperation or development aid represent a mere 3.2% of the total of journalistic pieces on cooperation.

Source: Inter Press News Agency