Reporting East Asia : foreign relations and news bias
This thesis, Reporting East Asia: Foreign Relations and News Bias, seeks to argue for the importance of understanding foreign relations in the study of 'bias' in international news. It begins by pointing out that many previous studies have examined pressures on news emanating from inside national boundaries, but have excluded force from outside, and most notably, the military and economic relations between reporting and reported nations. For the purpose of the study, newspapers from three countries; the US, South Korea and Japan (which different represent types of power order within the military and economic spheres in the Pacific region), were chosen. Three recent key events in the region were selected as case studies for news analysis: 1)The Shooting Down of the Korean Airline 007, by the Soviet Union in 1983; 2)The Former Philippine President, Marcos' Step Down in 1986 : and 3) the Anti-Government Demonstrations in South Korea in 1987. Throughout the thesis, the relationship between reporting countries and reported countries has been analysed. The relationships between the reporting nations and more powerful and influential nations, has also been examined, in order to establish how far the news content of a less powerful country is also shaped by its relations with dominant nations. The results of the study indicate that there is a strong relationship between the 'biased' news reporting of international events and the unequal relationships between and among nations. Consequently, it implies that understanding foreign relations is an important tool in the analysis of bias in international news reporting. However, the thesis concludes by suggesting that in order to fully understand the operating environment of international news, the internal dynamics of news organizations, media systems (including the relationship of news media to governmenta, and national power structures) needs to combined with the analysis of foreign relations in any future research.