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Title: Journalistic challenges and international news dynamics in the Korean peninsula
Author: Moon, Miri
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 6864
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis explores national and international news reporting of a major controversial news story – the sinking of South Korean corvette, Cheonan in March 2010. The thesis draws upon a comparative analysis of major news coverage pertaining to the incident with a sample of US/UK and South Korean media (AP, CNN, The New York Times, BBC, The Guardian, Yonhap,The Hankyoreh Shinmun, The DongA Ilbo). In addition 18 semi-structured interviews with foreign correspondents and Korean journalists were conducted in order to explore news gathering practices concerning the incident and to investigate factors that influence news production. There has been a growing debate that a paradigm shift in journalism theory is necessary in the post-Cold War era. This study examines how a new paradigm shift might be applicable in the case of North Korea. This study also addresses international news flow and explores the propaganda model by Herman and Chomsky (2002) in light of media influence in foreign policy. Specifically, this study attempts to investigate the applicability of some filters in the propaganda model in the context of the North and South Korea’s conflict coverage, concentrating on the use of news sources and the impact of new media on journalism practices. This is contextualised by addressing journalistic challenges of covering South and North Korean conflicts. Key findings are that the dominant news frames identified were conflict frames in international news media and human interest frame in national news respectively. The primary factor that influenced journalism practices at a national and an international level include a journalist’s ideology - one of the most significant factors in news framing. Moreover, a routinized journalism practice, and inaccessibility to North Korea that entailed limited news sources also influenced the ways in which news relating to the Cheonan incident was reported. Some filters of the propaganda model, which are routinized news sources relying on officials and ideological convergence such as anti-communism were operationalised in the case of the Cheonan. The international news agencies also played a pivotal role as primary definer and seemed to influence national and international mainstream media. Correspondents perceived that the Korean news media’s ideological cleavage hampered Korean social integration. On a global scale, South Korea’s security is under the influence of geopolitical power control with peripheral countries. Given the impact of newsmaking on society and policy making, this study highlights that investigative journalism practices based on gathering ‘facts’ and the personal ethics of journalists themselves are indispensable.
Supervisor: Henderson, L. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Journalism ; New sources ; New framing ; Media analysis ; New media