Original version in Spanish: Análisis de la presencia de España en la prensa internacional

Overview of Spain’s presence in the world’s news media

This study looks at the overall presence of Spain in the written news media and the most important news stories about Spain in the world’s most influential media outlets. The term ‘influential media outlets’ refers to those news media that, as well as concerning themselves with information and the dissemination of news stories, generate mainstream trends through ideas and opinions. Influential news media stand out from the rest because their perspectives are taken into account, not only by public opinion in general but also by other news media.

One of the main factors weighing upon the image a country enjoys abroad is the way it is perceived by the international news media and the reaction that this image generates in international public opinion.

To which subjects is Spain linked? What is Spain associated with and what are the predominant dynamics in the world’s news media? These are some of the overarching questions to which we hope to find answers.

The authors measured Spain’s presence in the world’s news media by the number of articles published on Spain and Spanish affairs appearing in the database maintained by Factiva, a service provided by Dow Jones.1 In the second phase of the study the most frequently mentioned themes relating to Spain were analysed and compared using a sample of 1,223 articles2 published in the first half of 2015 in the most influential periodicals in English, French and Spanish –as a representative sample–3 including news agencies and printed and digital publications.4

Having established the global context by carrying out a quantitative analysis of the subject under investigation, the authors embarked on a qualitative analysis to define the perception of Spain in the international news media.5 The gathering and classifying of data helped to quantify the presence of Spain in the world’s news media and by comparing the data with other countries in Spain’s European setting it was possible to locate Spain’s presence in the world press, providing the study with a global context.

Jose Pérez Martín
Communication and Branding Analyst, IPSOS España
 | @IpsosSpain

Juan Antonio Sánchez Giménez
Head of the Information and Documentation Service at the Elcano Royal Institute
 | @rielcano

1 Factiva, a Dow Jones product, is a database drawing upon approximately 25,000 sources of information emanating from more than 200 countries in 28 languages and in some cases going back nearly 35 years (http://new.dowjones.com/products/factiva/).

2 Articles selected from the Elcano Royal Institute’s press review, drawn up by Belén Sánchez, the Institute’s Communications Director.

3 Financial TimesThe GuardianThe EconomistBBCDaily TelegraphCNNWall Street JournalThe New York TimesThe Washington PostEuronewsLe MondeLe FigaroLiberationLes EchosDeutsche Welle (in English), La TribuneLa Tercera (Chile), La Nación (Argentina), La Jornada (Mexico), Reforma (Mexico), El Universal (Mexico), Clarín (Argentina), Latin America Herald Tribuneal-JazeeraSouth China Morning Post and China Post. News agencies: Reuters, Agence France Press, Associated Press, Bloomberg and Xinhua.

4 Blogs and non-journalistic, academic and scientific media were excluded for this purpose; instead the authors focussed on mass consumption of messages as a means of understanding the image Spain presents to the world through the news stories it generates.

5 The authors gave Factiva search parameters that returned a list of articles published over the course of the first half of 2015 on the subject of Spain and Spanish affairs.

(Cover of the International New York Times, 22 March 2015)