Date of Award

1-1-2009

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Mass Communication and Media Arts

First Advisor

Lowry, Dennis

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare media framing in the news coverage of South Korean and American newspaper media during the 2008 U.S. presidential election. The findings show that major newspapers in South Korea and the United States framed the election as a political game, focusing on tactics and polling. A horse race frame was used in 40.2% of South Korean news articles and in 37.8% of U.S. news articles. In addition, this study examines the kinds of topics that predominated in the election coverage. The findings suggest that the topic of `election politics' accounted for more articles than any other topic: 53.8% of South Korean news articles, and 41.3% of U.S. news articles, dealt with election politics. This category of `election politics' includes debate, campaign strategy, candidate qualifications, and polling. Foreign affairs and the economy occupied a relatively small percentage among topics. Another finding was that the national interest frame was insignificant in the election coverage of the two countries. In U.S. news coverage, news sources are diversified among politicians (34.6%), candidates (29.4%), civil society (e.g., citizens or civil organization, 14.1%), and other sources. In contrast, among South Korean news articles, 44.8% used foreign media as a primary source.

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