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Focussing on the Extremes of Good and Bad: Media Reporting of Countries Ranked Via Index-Based League Tables

Morse, Stephen (2017) Focussing on the Extremes of Good and Bad: Media Reporting of Countries Ranked Via Index-Based League Tables Social Indicators Research, 139 (2). pp. 631-652.

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The paper provides the first published evidence for a ‘U’ shaped relationship between country ‘league-table’ ranking based on the Human Development Index (HDI) and Corruption Perception Index (CPI) and media reporting. The results suggest that the Extremity Hypothesis proposed by Heath (1996) applies to such data rather than the alternative of the Centrality Hypothesis. In the Extremity Hypothesis people are more likely to transmit information regarding extremes, perhaps because people value ‘surprisingness’ or think that others do so, and the inevitable polarity of league-tables would appear to invite greater attention on those countries that rank high and low. This is an important finding as it suggests that countries at these extremes could act as exemplars. However, this is not to say that at more regional scales the media may pick-up on differences between ‘peer group’ countries ranked towards the middle of the league-table. Much more attention needs to be given by researchers to the use of indicators and indices and what helps to influence this, especially as it would help inform further development of existing indicators/indices and the creation of new ones.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Centre for Environmental Strategy
Authors :
Date : 21 August 2017
DOI : 10.1007/s11205-017-1726-x
Copyright Disclaimer : The final publication is available at Springer via
Uncontrolled Keywords : Human Development Index; Corruption Perception Index; league tables; media reporting; Extremity Hypothesis
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 22 Aug 2017 11:20
Last Modified : 18 Oct 2018 10:47

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