Monday, November 7, 2011

Coverage Differences between Japan and South Korean Media

While I was reading The symbolic power of transnational media of Chouliaraki, it reminds me of the article that comparing the differences in the way how statelite news portrays between Korea and Japan when the Tsunami insident happened in Japan in 2011. In terms of symbolic power of media, it is significantly influensive to its audience. While Chouliaraki comparing the views from western transnational media influence, I would like to examine how different it was to transmit the crisis news to the public accordiance to cultural differences.

Emotion vs. Facts
The Korean broadcasting news showed the video that evoke people's emotion. For instance, a Japanese that cries in the village into ruins due to the tsunami. Most of the news contents were also emotionally expressive rather than showing the facts. When an anouncer conveyed the news, the anouncer says "Tsunami completely devasted Japan" rather than "Tsunami devasted Japan." or describing the Tsunami as to "a total deadlock." Comparing to this, Japanese media showed the scene focusing the whole rather than individuals' loss. They keep transmitting the people maintaining public order even when the crisis happened. The media rarely use the extreme expression for describing the incidents. Japanese news televised how damage they got and what is the governments' response on the crisis trying to air the facts on the incident.

Cultural Differences
This differece would mainly due to the cultural differences as well as the degree of broadcasting autonomousy. While south Koreans focus more on emotions comparing to Japanese who tend to reveal their emotions. Interestingly, most Korean media has adopted to the Japanese media system for last decades. Korean newspapers even use the Japanese words like urakia and nawabari for their broadcasting terminology. However, in terms of dealing with the contents as well as broadcasting it is different as we can see the example above.

The Korean media coverage brought Koreans to donate tremendous amount of money and suppliers of emergence aid to Japan. Koreans emotionally felt pity on what happened in Japan and spontaneously started to fundraise for Japan. However, Koreans get angered when Japan brought the delicated and complex territorial conflict issue between Japan and Korea and Japan insisted that is belonged to Japan. Koreans were even get angrier because it was right after Koreans donated and fundraised for Japan and Koreans expected that Japan would be appreciated to Korean and be friendly to the terrotorial issue in the response to the Korean "hospitalities." Japan, however, regards those matters are completly different.

Engagement to Governments
How much the broadcasting companies are engaged to the government is the other aspects that result the different news between Korean and Japanese broadcasting. According to Kim Yongho who researched on the differences on Japanese and South Korean media coverage of foreign and security affairs, the autonomousy of the Japanese media is much stronger than Korean media. Kim reveals that the ratio of parliamentary members who were journalists is much greater in South Korea and this illustrates the tight relationship between government and media in Korea comparing the Japanese.

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