A comparative look at the coverage of the Sichuan earthquake in Chinese and American newspapers

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Liu, Daqi
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Lulu Rodriguez
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Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
The Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication offers two majors: Advertising (instructing students in applied communication for work in business or industry), and Journalism and Mass Communication (instructing students in various aspects of news and information organizing, writing, editing, and presentation on various topics and in various platforms). The Department of Agricultural Journalism was formed in 1905 in the Division of Agriculture. In 1925 its name was changed to the Department of Technical Journalism. In 1969 its name changed to the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications; from 1969 to 1989 the department was directed by all four colleges, and in 1989 was placed under the direction of the College of Sciences and Humanities (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences). In 1998 its name was changed to the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.
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The study explores the differences in the news frames used by two Chinese newspapers (the People's Daily and the West China City Daily) as well as two American newspapers (the Washington Post and the New York Times) in covering the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. It also examines how the frames applied by the newspapers in the two countries differed as the coverage evolved.

A content analysis of Chinese and American newspapers over a three-month period was conducted. The results indicate that the government policies, actions and response frame dominated the Chinese newspapers. The relief effort frame was also used substantially. However, the American newspapers exhibited highly affective frames, notably the human mortality and damage frames. The reconstruction frame was more frequently used by the Chinese papers at the later part of the coverage; the human mortality, government, and survivor frames were more noticeable in the first month of the American newspapers' coverage.

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Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2010