Our CTO, Gerhard Backfried, co-authored and published a research paper as part of the MIRROR (Migration-Related Risks Caused by Misconceptions of Opportunities and Requirement) Horizon 2020 project, in which HENSOLDT Analytics is actively participating.
The paper, written by Koustav Rudra, Gerhard Backfried, Miroslav Shaltev, Claudia Niederée, and Erick Elejalde, is titled “My EU = Your EU? Differences in the Perception of European Issues Across Geographic Region” and has been published in May 2021 in the IEEE Transactions on Computational Social Systems journal.
The publication has been recently made available on the official website of the MIRROR project. Visit it now to download the paper.
Our perception of the situation in a country or a region is strongly influenced by the reflection of this situation in mass and social media channels. This effect is even more pronounced for geographically and culturally distant regions, for which no firsthand experience is available. To avoid information overload, news outlets typically filter the available news from foreign countries based on the expected interest of the target audiences. Such filtering imposes an inherent bias in the reporting and can create a distorted perception of a region among the consumers of news of other regions. This might lead to misunderstandings between countries and unsubstantiated political and individual decisions (e.g., in the context of migration). In this article, we systematically analyze the bias created in news reports. We consider Europe, or more precisely the European Union (EU) as our zone of concern , and examine its image in the media (news outlets) of other regions, Europe(NON-EU), Africa, Asia, Middle-East, America, and Oceania. An analysis of the year 2018 (January–December 2018) of news published in those regions reveals marked differences in the editorial policies and presented narrative when dealing with EU-related news. We observe a significant variation in the sentiment polarity of the reported EU-related stories between the European and other regional news outlets. We further analyze the polarity variation among different subregions of large geographical areas, such as Africa, Asia, and America. We observe a contrasting difference in their editorial policies. This trend also holds for news related to different topics, such as politics, business, economy, health, and international relation.