A comparative analysis of conservative and liberal South Korean newspapers' coverage of public protests against the import of U.S. beef
A content analysis of 187 articles published in the conservative newspaper Chosun Ilbo and 228 stories from the liberal-leaning Hankyoreh was conducted to determine the frames used and the sources cited by these publications in their coverage of the "candlelight protests" in South Korea in 2008. The analysis, which covered an eight-month period (from February to September, 2008), found that civic protest and public outrage were the most dominant frames employed by the two newspapers. There was a difference in the two newspapers only in terms of the second frame used. Government officials were the most commonly cited sources of information in both newspapers. However, there was significant difference in the two newspapers in terms of first and second sources cited. The findings indicate serious weakness in newspaper coverage of the protests. It showed bias, sensationalism, and highly polarized debates. Both papers offered inaccurate information from politicians and government officials instead of risk information supplied by science.