Whose Voices Count?: Sourcing U.S. American Television News About the World

David C. Oh, Omotayo O. Banjo, Nancy A. Jennings


The current study examines the extent to which U.S. coverage of world news events relies on White and Western sources as well as the role that journalists’ race, story type, and interview type have in the selection of news sources. Furthermore, this study examines whether such sourcing biases exist across commercial and public networks, namely ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS. Relying on a critical media effects approach, we drew connections between indexing theory and critical race and postcolonial studies to conduct a content analysis of more than 200 news stories and more than 600 sources in 2019 and 2020. The findings reveal significantly more sources from Western countries than non-Western countries in the coverage of international news stories with some variance with reporters, story type, and network type. Implications of the disproportionate presence of Western sources are further discussed.



sources, broadcast news, race, indexing, international news

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