National newspapers in South Korea considered their government most responsible for outbreaks of avian influenza, a recent study shows.
It also showed that the stories studied by the researchers mentioned causes more than the solutions.
Brooke Weberling McKeever, an associate professor, and Minhee Choi, a doctoral candidate at School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of South Carolina, conducted the study by analyzing 609 news reports published by five to circulated newspapers in South Korea. The five newspapers—Chosun Ilbo, Joongang Ilbo, Donga Ilbo Kyunghyang Shinmoon and Hankyoreh Shinmoon—published those news reports during seven outbreaks of avian influenza between December 2003 and March 2017. The first three newspapers are considered conservative; the other two are considered liberal.
Among all of the actors, the study says, the government was blamed more when the outbreak intensified. “Overall, findings indicate that the more damage was caused by AI, the more blame was placed on the government,” the study said.
Newspapers stories, however, used the government sources more frequently than other sources, such as scientists, researchers, farmers, and laypersons. More than 61 percent of news stories used government sources.
Also blamed were migrant birds, farmers and immigrant employees.
The study also indicated that the number of news articles gradually increased with the episodes of outbreaks in the country.
Choi, M., & McKeever, B. W. (2019). News framing of avian flu: Media advocacy and response to a public health crisis. Newspaper Research Journal, 40(4), 451–466. https://doi.org/10.1177/0739532919855790