A Comparative Analysis of Media Framing in the Whaling Conflict between Australia and Japan

By Momoyo K. Shibuya.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This research examines how media frame the issues surrounding the whaling conflict between Australia and Japan. It provides a fundamental understanding of the social context in the process of international conflict, in this case, Australia and Japan taking opposite positions on whaling. Analysis was conducted using major newspapers in Australia and Japan from January to June 2010. All relevant articles were collected and analysed using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to identify how the whaling conflict was described to the public in both countries. The result shows that the media in these two countries frame the issue of whaling in different manners. News articles in Australia question Japanese attention to its scientific research on whaling in the Southern Ocean. They also claim that the Australian Government should keep their election promises. Meanwhile, news articles in Japan primarily report this issue by focusing on anti-whaling actions by activists and the Australian Government’s positions. The findings correspond to the general public’s point of view, suggesting that such misunderstanding could have a potential serious impact during the political decision making processes in both countries. Therefore, it is essential to comprehend the whaling issue between two countries by reinforcing the development of a fundamental dialogue.

Keywords: Mass Media Framing, International Conflict, Japan, Australia, Whaling

Global Studies Journal, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.177-192. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.206MB).

Dr. Momoyo K. Shibuya

Associate Professor, School of Economics, Saitama University, Saitama, Japan

Momoyo K Shibuya is an Associate Professor in International Communication at the School of Economics, Saitama University. Prior to joining Saitama University, she was a researcher in Japan Broadcasting Cooperation (NHK) and in the Benesse Educational Research & Development Center (BERD). In 2004 she was awarded a PhD in International Communication from Division of Society, Culture, Media and Philosophy at Macquarie University on the interethnic distance of overseas Japanese presented in their ethnic media. This research is the basis of her book “Interethnic Attitude that Matters: The Structure of Japanese Ethnic Distance in the Global Context”. Her research focuses have been broadened from ethnic relations to media and international conflict, multicultural social marketing, and ethnic tourism.


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