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A comparative analysis of the press coverage of the whaling conflict in Australia and Japan in 2005-2006.


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Kudo, Mitsuru 2008 , 'A comparative analysis of the press coverage of the whaling conflict in Australia and Japan in 2005-2006.', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This study aims to shed light on the differences in the way in which an
environmental issue is represented by the news media in Western and non-Western
society. It also examines the degree to which the previous theories of media and
environment, which have been primarily based on examination of domestic news
coverage of environmental issues in Western society, can account for these
differences. It employs a case study approach, which comparatively examines
news texts of the whaling conflict drawn from three Australian newspapers and
two Japanese newspapers. The tension between these two nations dramatically
increased in 2005-2006 in the wake of Japan's decision to more than double the
quota of its research whaling in the Southern Ocean, and the case study is
designed to analyse the newspaper articles published during this period.
The method employed in this study combines quantitative and qualitative
analysis techniques to investigate four aspects of press coverage of the whaling
conflict: fluctuation in the number of articles; diversity of quoted news sources;
the articles' coverage of the positions put by the Australian and Japanese
governments; and differences in the way in which the newspapers' views of the
whaling conflict were reflected in their news reporting.
The analyses of the quantitative aspects of the news texts show that
Australian newspapers carried more information about the conflict than Japanese
newspapers, and they gave a similar amount of coverage to the official positions
of Australia and Japan, unlike Japanese papers whose coverage mainly reiterated
the arguments presented by the Japanese Government. The qualitative discourse
analysis demonstrates that while the suspicion of Australian newspapers and their nation's political elites about Japan's whaling policy was noticeably reflected in
the news reports, Japanese newspapers did not show their scepticism of the
anti-whaling nations' positions in their news reports in an explicit way.
The study shows how some theories of environment and media fail to give a
thorough explanation of the differences in press coverage of the whaling conflict —
not only the differences between Australian and Japanese papers but also the
differences among the newspapers in the same nation. This suggests that the
interaction of internal and external factors concerning news production, such as
news culture, social perception of the issues and news companies' views on the
issues, which in combination generate the diversity in news coverage of
environmental issues, is more complex than commonly understood.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Kudo, Mitsuru
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2008 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Available for library use only and copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, as amended. Thesis (MA)--University of Tasmania, 2008. Includes bibliographical references

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