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Food Security News Hotspots Indicator

The map shows the latest news hotspots related to global and regional food security. The idea of this indicator is that more news coverage can indicate a more problematic situation although this may not always be true. Therefore, the map is primarily an indicator of the magnitude of the news coverage and not the intensity of food insecurity.

A more detailed description of how this risk indicator is calculated and assessed can be found under ‘methods’.

Food Security News Hotspots

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How to interpret this indicator?

The news hotspots show the relative intensity of news related to food security. It is not a direct reflection of the intensity of a food insecurity situation, but is based on the assumption that more news coverage occurs when there are more signs of warning.

To deal with countries of different sizes and different levels of coverage within the English-speaking press, the indicators are weighted by the number of historical warnings for each country.

  • Medium Risk (Amber) – assigned if there are substantially more news than in the past for a particular country (more than one standard deviation above the expected value).
  • High Risk (Red) – assigned if there is an extremely high amount of news stories than in the past for a particular country (more than two standard deviations above the expected value).

Advantages of this indicator?

  • News Hotspots are compiled in near real-time, updated on a daily basis.
  • With news hotspots being a representation of the news coverage for a region, they provide a strong indicator for the degree to which food prices and food security are discussed in the public sphere.
  • The news is country-specific and therefore contains more nuanced national information than global indicators.

What does this indicator capture?

  • Due to the fast nature of News Hotspots, it might hint at an emerging crisis at the early stages of development.
  • Captures the current English news coverage, therefore unlikely to miss a major crisis. It however does not give a very detailed picture of the local situation, as reports in other languages are not accounted for.
  • Indicator cannot reveal information about the intensity of a crisis, which crops are becoming scarce, which groups of people are affected or the underlying reasons for the threat to food security.
  • As a computer algorithm filters the news database, there is the potential for unrelated articles being part of the analysis.