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Zerback, Thomas; Holzleitner, Johannes (January 2018): Under-cover. The influence of event- and context-traits on the visibility of armed conflicts in German newspaper coverage (1992–2013). In: Journalism, Vol. 19, No. 3: pp. 366-383


Although armed conflicts are an intensively researched domain in communication science, not much is known about the factors influencing their visibility in the news media. Based on research on the international flow of news, we identify traits of conflicts and the nations involved that potentially determine visibility. In our study, we combine data on 119 armed conflicts between 1992 and 2013 and an analysis of German newspaper coverage. We can show that several event- and context-oriented factors exert an influence on how much attention the media devote to a conflict. Conflict visibility was determined by the geographical distance between the reporting country and the conflict, the involvement of nuclear weapons, a military involvement of the reporting country, political sanctions imposed by supranational organizations, and (to a lesser extent) the number of fatalities.