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Media's role after a nuclear accident: Differences in news coverage between Japan and Sweden after the Fukushima disaster 2011
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013).
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Medias roll efter en kärnkraftkatastrof : Skillnader i nyhetsrapportering mellan Japan och Sverige efter Fukushimakatastrofen 2011 (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Introduction

Through the ages, nuclear emergencies have scared us several times, and during these

emergencies risks were often communicated through media. Sometimes, news would get

distorted, amplified and cause confusion or other undesirable effects, which in turn might

affect how people perceive the risks. The aim of this study was to analyze how media

portrayed and communicated risks in Japan during the Fukushima nuclear power plant

accident in 2011, compared to Sweden, a country out of reach of direct risks.

Methods

Discourse analysis was considered the most suitable method for this study, since it can be

used to reveal myths that are implicated in speech and other actions. A discourse analysis is

not meant to clarify an objective reality, but how a reality is created. The analysis was

conducted on articles published in newspapers in each country during the accident, 15 articles

from The Japan Times (Japan) and 19 from Aftonbladet (Sweden).

Results

The results showed that the communication of risks was more instructive in The Japan Times,

even if some of the information was changing and could be considered confusing. When it

comes to feelings, The Japan Times mostly stayed away from vidid and dramatic messages,

while this was more common in Aftonbladet.

Discussion and conclusions

In the discussion, it was found that the most prominent resemblance was lacking information

as a result of potential lack of knowledge among journalists. The way the newspapers

presented the risks differed, The Japan Times had a quite composed approach while

Aftonbladet dramatized the event more extensively. Both newspapers used statements from

officials and authorities, which might have contributed to framing. For further research on

media’s role during a nuclear disaster, it might be of interest to look at solutions for how

experts and journalists can work closer together to communicate the risks accurately, as well

as taking the political stance aspect into consideration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-55409OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-55409DiVA, id: diva2:1115019
Educational program
Risk Management in society (120 ECTS credits)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-09-07 Created: 2017-06-26 Last updated: 2017-09-07Bibliographically approved

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Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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