The Global Media Slowly Moves On From The Turkish Earthquake: A Narrative Quick Look

Global media coverage of major stories like natural disasters tends to closely follow a standard mathematical formula, with deviations typically indicating that a story has inorganically deviated beyond its original contours to become a new story, such as when the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was reformulated as a story about the Trump administration that prompted a new round of media interest.

Here we can see global media coverage of the earthquake initially following the standard "media fatigue curve" but then abruptly leveling off from the 8th, when it should instead have been plummeting.

A closer look at mentions of "anger" in context with the earthquake shows that this is the moment when the story of a tragic natural disaster became a political story – shifting, like the Khashoggi murder, to a new narrative that results in a new burst of attention. However, the "anger" narrative appears to have rapidly faded as well.

Mentions of President Erdogan peaked in the initial hours after the earthquake, but have rapidly and linearly declined, other than a brief burst around the peak of the "anger" narrative.

Mentions of building contractors and developers peak around the anger narrative, but have fallen sharply.

Mentions of rescues have fallen linearly.

At the same time, mentions of death have also faded, though peaked with mentions of contractors.

Mentions of homelessness are stable after dual peaks.

Mentions of children have begun to decline after more than a week.

Mentions of aid assistance has slowly linearly declined.

The charts above help explain the one below, which shows worldwide media tone about the earthquake becoming steadily more positive in an almost linear rise. This is not unexpected and reflects the shift in coverage from graphic depictions of death and destruction to a greater focus on the look ahead to rebuilding and the future and more clinical language of destruction, but nonetheless suggests a marked shift in coverage that could affect donor recruitment, etc.

US search interest in Turkey continues to decline steadily.

Global search interest has declined even more linearly.