Global Online Media Landscape 2020: Dynamic Characteristics




global online media landscape, global online media space syclicity, global media splash, global media storm, FACTIVA


The article presents a study, which purpose was to identify dynamic characteristics of the global online media landscape in 2020. The media landscape is considered within linguistic and thematic boundaries of FACTIVA — a specialized monitor system for political, economic and social information. FACTIVA's resource base includes more than 30,000 online sources in 25 languages, representing 91.7% of the Internet's content. As a result of the study, a number of dynamic patterns have been identified. Firstly, an increase in the number of the materials, which FACTIVA operates, confirms the trend for the Internet expansion. Secondly, the production of new materials follows a strict weekly cycle based on the alternation of weekdays and weekends. The latter, in turn, depends on traditions of different countries and the type of culture prevails in them (Christian, Muslim, etc.). Thus, in countries of the Christian tradition, a minimum of new publications is observed on Sundays, in Muslim countries — on Fridays. On a global scale, the peak in the number of published materials falls on Thursday. Thirdly, two new dynamic concepts — “global media splash” and “global media storm” have been introduced into scientific use, as well as a criterion for measuring their strength has been proposed. “Global media splash” describes a significant increase in the number of materials over several days compared to similar days in the previous week. The “global media storm” is manifested in comparison with the previous month. The article proposes to consider global media splashes and media storms as strong when the amount of the media materials increases by at least 15%. The global media storm may not be related to short-term sensational stories. For example, in January 2020, a global media splash which turned into a media storm was recorded in connection with the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and subsequent events. The most powerful global media storm in 2020 was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but there were no strong global media splashes during this period.

Acknowledgments. The work was performed at the Faculty of Communications, Media and Design within the framework of the research project “Transformation of the world picture in the global information online space under the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Author Biography

Alexander V. Sharikov, HSE University

  • HSE University, Moscow, Russia
    • Cand. Sci. (Ped.), Senior Research Fellow, Professor at the School of Media





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