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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, M 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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Abstract

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, M
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:

Thesis (MA)--University of Tasmania, 2008. Includes bibliographical references

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