Cultural otherness and disaster news: the influence of western discourses on Japan in US and UK news coverage of the 2011 Great East Japan Disaster.

Matthews, J., 2018. Cultural otherness and disaster news: the influence of western discourses on Japan in US and UK news coverage of the 2011 Great East Japan Disaster. International Communication Gazette. (In Press)

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Abstract

The Great East Japan Disaster of 2011 provides an important case study to evaluate how western media cover Japan. Employing a critical discourse analysis of coverage in The New York Times, the Guardian and The Observer this article seeks to examine how Japan and the disaster-affected communities of Tōhoku were represented through the context of this disaster. The analysis revealed the presence of a cultural framework, enacted during the response phase of the disaster news cycle to explain how people in Japan were coping in the aftermath of the disaster, which was premised on a discourse of cultural otherness. The textual elements that underwrote this discourse included a tendency to draw on stereotypes and in the way culture was employed to provide context to individual stories. The analysis also acknowledges how forms of bias circulated through other discourses, in particular when covering the nuclear crisis at Fukushima. The article argues that this discourse of cultural otherness is, in part, attributable to the features of disaster journalism, rather than a lack of familiarity on the part of journalists with the cultural context.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1748-0485
Uncontrolled Keywords:Great East Japan Disaster; disaster reporting; critical discourse analysis; cultural otherness; stereotypes; US and UK news media
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:30533
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:29 Mar 2018 15:44
Last Modified:29 Mar 2018 15:44

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