Innovative agenda, unique data and cutting-edge methodology

Global Flows of Political Information (GLOWIN) is a research project that creates the first map of the flows of political information across countries. This is a pioneering research agenda, as social sciences simply do not know the extent to which politically relevant information, as reported in mass media, travels across nations. GLOWIN opens the space for systematic exploration of this important dimension of globalization and international politics long unaddressed.

We combine deep inter-disciplinary theorization with cutting-edge methodology and data collection techniques. Unique empirical data and advanced automated text analysis allow for coverage of news from virtually all countries of the world and more than 30,000 online media outlets. Moreover, to estimate the amount of political information contained in this news, GLOWIN derives an original measure of political information based on insights from information theory.

Our approach in application: COVID-19

Here is a small teaser, showcasing the kind of data and insight we work on in GLOWIN. This interactive map shows coverage intensity of COVID-19 in online media across the world in 2020. It depicts the per cent share of news, in the given month, that mention the disease (Covid, Covid-19, etc.) or the virus (SARS-Cov-2, coronavirus, etc.).

Any insights? Note the enormous intensity of COVID-19 coverage in March and April 2020, with close to 50% of all articles, or even above that, referring to the disease. But also note the relative decline of coverage towards summer and onward, where visibility of COVID-19 stayed at around half of the values from spring, in spite of the massive autumn 2020 waves.

Note: Data come from a sample of 72 randomly selected days, six from each month. We use sources monitored in GDELT (https://www.gdeltproject.org/) as our basis, but we use website rankings from Amazon Alexa (https://www.alexa.com/) to filter out less frequently visited media. The data depicted are based on 300 000+ articles.