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Introducing Undertones, Global Voices’ media analysis newsletter

Interpreting complexity

To fully understand events and trends — say, a controversial election or a new meme — we need to read between the lines.

This is where the Civic Media Observatory comes in. We identify key narratives of urgent public interest, delving deep into context and subtext of local, vernacular and multilingual media.

What are people really saying?

This newsletter will help you understand the nuances — the undertones — of seemingly chaotic media ecosystems.

In each newsletter, we'll pick an event, emerging trend, or a complex story. For the data nerds, Undertones also offers an entry point into the public datasets that underpin our Observatory work.

Over the last two years, the Civic Media Observatory has explored complexity in media ecosystems in two dozen countries, on topics ranging from elections to COVID-19, from protest movements to civil wars, from China's soft power influence around the world, to disinformation tactics by authoritarians. Global Voices researchers are experts in reading and explaining the nuances of the stories, trends and narratives in their countries. We are steadily adding new research topics, public datasets and analysis, which you can find on the Observatory home page. Current active projects for 2021 and early 2022 include observatories about Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Mali, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey.

See the first edition of Undertones, which focuses on Nicaragua. Welcome!

Undertones is the Civic Media Observatory's newsletter, created collaboratively by the Observatory's researchers, coordinating editors, and project writer. Find out more about our missionmethodology, and publicly available data

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