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The role of a local newspaper after disaster: an intrinsic case study of Ishinomaki, Japan.

Matthews, J., 2017. The role of a local newspaper after disaster: an intrinsic case study of Ishinomaki, Japan. Asian Journal of Communication, 27 (5), 464-479.

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DOI: 10.1080/01292986.2017.1280065


The city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture was devastated by the tsunami that struck Japan’s North East Coast on March 11, 2011. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in Ishinomaki, which included interviews with senior journalists from the city’s two local newspapers, the Ishinomaki Hibi Shimbun and the Ishinomaki Kahoku, this paper presents an intrinsic case study of the role a local newspaper in Ishinomaki after the Great East Japan Disaster. The evidence reveals that in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami journalists recognised how their newspaper could serve the immediate information needs of the local community by providing essential lifeline information, describing a duty to report, despite the operational difficulties that their newspapers faced. In the longer-term recovery phase, interviewees acknowledged how their newspapers have attempted to communicate a message of hope to the city and provide an alternative perspective to the national media, which sometimes gave a false impression of the state of Ishinomaki’s recovery. This paper offers some insights into journalistic role conceptions, illustrating how journalists from the two newspapers embraced the role of information-disseminator (Weaver & Wilhoit, 1991) after the disaster, and also identifies avenues for further research.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Japan; local newspapers; journalistic roles; Great East Japan Disaster
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:26381
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:18 Jan 2017 15:31
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:02


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