The Drivers of Global News Spreading Patterns

Shayan Alipour, Niccolò Di Marco, Michele Avalle, Gabriele Etta, Matteo Cinelli, Walter Quattrociocchi

The web radically changed the dissemination of information and the global spread of news. In this study, we aim to reconstruct the connectivity patterns within nations shaping news propagation globally in 2022. We do this by analyzing a dataset of unprecedented size, containing 140 million news articles from 183 countries and related to 37,802 domains in the GDELT database. Unlike previous research, we focus on the sequential mention of events across various countries, thus incorporating a temporal dimension into the analysis of news dissemination networks. Our results show a significant imbalance in online news spreading. We identify news superspreaders forming a tightly interconnected rich club, exerting significant influence on the global news agenda. To further investigate the mechanisms underlying news dissemination and the shaping of global public opinion, we model countries' interactions using a gravity model, incorporating economic, geographical, and cultural factors. Consistent with previous studies, we find that countries' GDP is one of the main drivers to shape the worldwide news agenda.

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