Date of Award

5-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Communication and Information

Major Professor

Dorothy Bowles

Committee Members

Peter Gross, Mark Harmon

Abstract

This study compared how four English-language newspapers in the United States and South Korea covered the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA). A content analysis using QDA Miner was conducted for 354 articles from the New York Time, the Washington Post, the Korea Herald, and the Korea Times to determine how each paper framed the topic. Overall the newspapers’ media framing aligned with their national concerns and interests.

The literature review supported the idea that identifying frames in natural language articles and investigating the relative highlighting of issues was important in analyzing news coverage. The two Korean newspapers gave the issue of the KORUS FTA four times more news coverage than the two U.S. papers. The Korean public showed their concerns by rallies against the KORUS FTA during the negotiations. Opinion pieces of the U.S. newspapers gave their audiences generalized information on this issue while opinion stories of Korean papers focused on for-or-against debates about the KORUS FTA. The U.S. and Korean newspapers covered various industries differently reflecting the relative importance of those industries to each country if the treaty were approved eventually by the U.S. Congress and the Korean National Assembly. In addition, this research found that news stories in papers from both nations followed episodic frames, whereas opinion articles used thematic frames.

This study provided empirical evidence to contribute to journalism scholars, journalists, and audiences for a better understanding of media framing.

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