Food Security News Hotspots Indicator

The Food Security News Hotspots indicator, compliments of the Food Security Portal of IFPRI, reflects the media activity related to global and regional food price developments and food security, using the assumption that more news coverage could mean a more problematic situation. Because this assumption may not always be true, the map is primarily an indicator of the magnitude of the news coverage and not the intensity of food insecurity. The indicator is calculated using the GATE system (University of Sheffield) and supported by the European Commission.

A more detailed description of how this indicator is calculated and assessed can be found here.

How to interpret this indicator?

GREEN ALERT (LOW RISK): Levels of news are as per usual.

AMBER ALERT (MEDIUM RISK): Substantially more news than in the past for a particular country.

RED ALERT (HIGH RISK): Extremely high number of news stories than in the past for a particular country.

The news hotspots do not reflect 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.

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 national information than global indicators.

What can this indicator capture?

Due to the fast nature of the 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. However, it 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 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.