Univeral Amplifier

Universal Amplifier

Amplifying the topics that power today's PR professional

Media and the Worldview of #Ferguson

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for media stations across the world. From Robin Williams’ tragic passing to ISIS making their presence known in the Sinjar Mountains, the media has had their hands full in keeping track of world interests.

One particularly complex news event has captivated a fairly large audience: the shooting of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, by a local police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The controversy has been the topic of conversation for many American’s the last few weeks, as well as for the media. Details and speculation around these circumstances have spiraled out of control, becoming a media nightmare for the state of Missouri and the small suburb of St. Louis.

Universal Information Services looked at this sensitive news subject in terms of media measurement. How far has the story of this shooting spread? Worldwide.

Global News Media Mentions on Ferguson Missouri

Ferguson has been mentioned from Argentina to Taiwan, and far beyond. There have been a calculated 488,898 total media mentions since August 19,2014, the day that the shooting occurred. While 286,760 of those media mentions have come from the United States, that leaves just over half of the media mentions coming from outside the States. Simply put: the world is tuning into this story. This story is reaching much farther than just our televisions or tweets at home here in the United States.

But, what does all this coverage mean for Ferguson? The bigger picture should be placed on the United States, not just on Ferguson. Adam Taylor and Rick Noack of the Washington Post hit the nail on the head with this article they wrote about the worsening situation in Ferguson. The article gives ample evidence of media outlets around the world viewing America as a racist country and as a police state. Essentially this is PR problem for the entire country, and it’s casting a very large shadow. People around the world are not only forming negative opinions on the policing strategies used in Ferguson, but on the people of the U.S. for tolerating such alleged actions by the government.

It seems as if the United States has some work to do in terms of repairing its image after this tragic incident. Watch for more analysis of the Ferguson, Missouri situation on the #samerules #newtools blog as we continue to monitor global media mentions.

Austin Gaule is the assistant media measurement director at Universal Information Services.

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