Framing of Nuclear Discourse at 5-Year Memorial of the Great East Japan Earthquake by Two English Newspapers in Japan


A useful theoretical framework for the study of news coverage is framing. According to Entmen (1993) to frame is to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text''. Making certain aspects more salient than others in media content leads to different construction of reality. This study uses quantitative frame analysis to find out frames used by news media in their portrayal of 5-year memorial of Great East Japan Earthquake, which is also known as 3/11. Using a convenient sample and a signature matrix this research paper tries to find out how the 5-year memorial of this tragic catastrophe was covered by two main English language newspapers, namely, The Japan News and The Japan Times. Our analysis shows that the ''5-year memorial was constructed differently by two different newspapers. The unit of analysis was the theme, 'triple disasters' namely earth quake, tsunami and nuclear accident in Fukushima. The Japan News framed the nuclear energy discourse positively, while The Japan Times framed it negatively, something which should be phased out systematically. Differences in the tone of coverage and the use of sources across the news media were also found. However, the main differences are not so surprising because, Japan's nuclear history is full of monopolies and lavish subsidies, cozy business-government relationships behind close doors. What is at stake is the so called 'watch dog function.

Author Information
Theodore Fernando, Open University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka
Thomas Varkey, Sophia University Junior College Division, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACSS2016
Stream: Cultural and Media Studies

This paper is part of the ACSS2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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