Framing the Pre-Olympic News Coverage of Tokyo 2020: A Comparative Analysis of Tokyo’s Successful Bid and the Olympic Stadium Design


The Olympics as a global spectacle usually generates a significant amount of international news coverage for the host country. The power of the media to shape public opinion or the 'complementary role of macro-communications and interpersonal micro-communications through media' as Jacques Ellul describes it, suggests that the messages and symbols which are now emerging from Tokyo's 2020 Olympics could have an effect on audience perceptions both internationally and within Japan. How does the news media frame these pre-Olympic stories, both internationally and domestically? Even at this early stage, will news framing have any significant political, economic or cultural implications for Tokyo's future as the Olympic host city? Framing as it applies to news discourse analysis is not only limited to the 'textual structures of news' or lexical content (Van Dijk, 1988). In other research studies, frames are referred to in terms of 'selection and salience' and their overall function is designed to define problems, diagnose and prescribe remedies (Gamson, 1992; Entman, 1993). This perspective forms the theoretical basis for this qualitative study, which examines generic frames such as conflict, morality, economics and recovery and some other issue specific frames in Japanese, British and American print news stories. A comparative analysis of two prominent pre-Olympic stories, the announcement of Tokyo as the host city and the controversy associated with the Tokyo Olympic stadium design, was conducted by sampling English language news stories using headlines and leads, considered 'the most powerful framing devices' within syntactical structures (Pan and Kosicki, 1993).

Author Information
Beryl Hawkins, Temple University Japan, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: IICJ2016
Stream: Japanese Culture and Media

This paper is part of the IICJ2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon