This is What 400,000 Hours of U.S. International TV News Looks Like

By Adam Clark Estes on at

Ever wonder what places get the most attention in American news? The answer is more striking than you might think. This geography of U.S. attention is beautifully illustrated in a new animation that maps the geographic subjects of U.S. television news broadcasts over the span of four-years. It's kinda sparkly.

The stunning visualisation was put together by Kalev Leetaru, a contributing scholar at the Internet Archive, and it's goal is not just to wow you. According to the Internet Archive blog, the map used its own algorithms to scan the closed-captioning transcript from an astonishing 400,000 hours of television news broadcasts, looking for specific place names. Paris? Iraq? New York City? The algorithms then add that location to the map, and the glittering constellation of places continues to grow, getting brighter—and redder—around the places most frequently mentioned.

The result, they claim, is "one of the first large-scale glimpses of the geography of American television news, beginning to reveal which areas receive outsized attention and which are neglected." Africa, for instance, is not the subject of very much American news. How about where you live? [Internet Archive via @nicolatwilley]