Columbia Journalism School Studies Media Coverage of Syrian Conflict Using GDELT

Students at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism  created this fantastic in-depth and interactive look at how the global news media have covered the conflict in Syria using GDELT as an entrance point to the international media fabric.

Their paper explores some fantastic characteristics about how the media have covered the conflict including what dominates the headlines and what gathers far less attention.

They also manually reviewed 100 randomly selected Syria events from GDELT and compared the details in the event record against the event description in the source article, finding very close alignment:

  • Actor1: 94.7% correct
  • Actor2: 80.0% correct
  • Actor1 Geography: 84.2%
  • Actor2 Geography: 72.6%
  • Event Code: 77.6%

Given that Syria is currently an active war zone with few international correspondents on the ground, news coverage of the conflict is often chaotic and conflicting, coming from a wide array of sources, including regional media, so the high level of accuracy that GDELT demonstrated in correctly codifying the contents of those news reports is particularly encouraging.

 Read Reporting the Red Line.