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postgraduate thesis: Cultural framing of news : from earthquake to nuclear crisis in Japan

TitleCultural framing of news : from earthquake to nuclear crisis in Japan
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Kuah-Pearce, KE
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Kajimoto, M.. (2014). Cultural framing of news : from earthquake to nuclear crisis in Japan. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5185929
AbstractThis thesis examines the news coverage of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis that devastated the country of Japan in March 2011 from a comparative standpoint. Drawing on the key concepts in the theory of social constructionism and frame analysis, the series of studies in this thesis comparatively examines how cultures and value systems factored into the process of news production, dissemination and consumption when it comes to the news stories on what the Japanese government officially named the Great East Japan Earthquake. The first section looks at how Japan and its people were portrayed amid disaster relief efforts and analyzes how culture itself has become the topic of discussion and part of reality construction. The second section, on frame analysis, focuses on the workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, often called the Fukushima 50 by the Western media, and examines the cultural characteristics that contributed to the observable discrepancies in the ways they were represented by the Japanese media and their Western counterparts. The third study aims to shed light on the environment surrounding today’s foreign correspondents and international news reporting in the context of Japan, investigating what factors influence the ways journalist go about reporting and framing their versions of realities. The fourth section attempts to deconstruct the news narratives in terms of risk communication by paying particular attention to how people reacted to the coverage of potential dangers of radiation leaks as well as the tsunami warnings in Tohoku area. In the end, the series of studies described above underlines how cultural factors significantly affected the ways in which the journalists covered Japan in 2011 as well as the ways news audiences understood what was going on. The thesis argues that there are two types of cultural faming that contributed greatly to the social construction of realities in the aftermath of the triple disasters. The first type of cultural framing was observed when reporters consistently made the culture of Japan and its supposedly “unique” values as the main frame of news narratives. It often implied that the Japanese culture was somewhat exotic or alien through foreign eyes. The second type of cultural framing was observed when the cultural dispositions of journalists and audience framed the potential risk such as the incoming tsunami and the vital newsmakers such as workers in Fukushima Daiichi using familiar cultural molds. The finding accentuated the intricacy and precarious nature of “realities” in news reports. The research also indicated that when cultural factors in news process dictate and determine the focal point of reality perception, they tend to bring about racial discussions and stereotypical images in narratives.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectFukushima Nuclear Disaster, Japan, 2011 - Press coverage - Japan
Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, Japan, 2011 - Press coverage - Japan
Dept/ProgramSociology
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/197109

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorKuah-Pearce, KE-
dc.contributor.authorKajimoto, Masato-
dc.date.accessioned2014-05-07T23:15:27Z-
dc.date.available2014-05-07T23:15:27Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationKajimoto, M.. (2014). Cultural framing of news : from earthquake to nuclear crisis in Japan. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5185929-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/197109-
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines the news coverage of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis that devastated the country of Japan in March 2011 from a comparative standpoint. Drawing on the key concepts in the theory of social constructionism and frame analysis, the series of studies in this thesis comparatively examines how cultures and value systems factored into the process of news production, dissemination and consumption when it comes to the news stories on what the Japanese government officially named the Great East Japan Earthquake. The first section looks at how Japan and its people were portrayed amid disaster relief efforts and analyzes how culture itself has become the topic of discussion and part of reality construction. The second section, on frame analysis, focuses on the workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, often called the Fukushima 50 by the Western media, and examines the cultural characteristics that contributed to the observable discrepancies in the ways they were represented by the Japanese media and their Western counterparts. The third study aims to shed light on the environment surrounding today’s foreign correspondents and international news reporting in the context of Japan, investigating what factors influence the ways journalist go about reporting and framing their versions of realities. The fourth section attempts to deconstruct the news narratives in terms of risk communication by paying particular attention to how people reacted to the coverage of potential dangers of radiation leaks as well as the tsunami warnings in Tohoku area. In the end, the series of studies described above underlines how cultural factors significantly affected the ways in which the journalists covered Japan in 2011 as well as the ways news audiences understood what was going on. The thesis argues that there are two types of cultural faming that contributed greatly to the social construction of realities in the aftermath of the triple disasters. The first type of cultural framing was observed when reporters consistently made the culture of Japan and its supposedly “unique” values as the main frame of news narratives. It often implied that the Japanese culture was somewhat exotic or alien through foreign eyes. The second type of cultural framing was observed when the cultural dispositions of journalists and audience framed the potential risk such as the incoming tsunami and the vital newsmakers such as workers in Fukushima Daiichi using familiar cultural molds. The finding accentuated the intricacy and precarious nature of “realities” in news reports. The research also indicated that when cultural factors in news process dictate and determine the focal point of reality perception, they tend to bring about racial discussions and stereotypical images in narratives.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshFukushima Nuclear Disaster, Japan, 2011 - Press coverage - Japan-
dc.subject.lcshTohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, Japan, 2011 - Press coverage - Japan-
dc.titleCultural framing of news : from earthquake to nuclear crisis in Japan-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5185929-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSociology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5185929-

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