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Unreported world: A critical analysis of UK newspaper coverage of post-disaster events

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

James J. Porter, Grace Evans

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-338
Number of pages12
JournalGEOGRAPHICAL JOURNAL
Volume186
Issue number3
DOIs
Published1 Sep 2020

King's Authors

Abstract

This paper assesses the extent to which a disparity exists in post-disaster reporting of global North and global South events in UK newspapers, how that disparity manifests itself, and the consequences of that disparity. A critical discourse analysis was used involving a documentary analysis of UK national newspaper articles published on two disasters, Hurricane Harvey in the USA and the South Asian monsoon, in 2017. A reporting bias was found in favour of the number of articles published, the length of those articles, and duration of coverage for the global North disaster. Language used and imagery evoked also differed considerably. Whereas UK media coverage of the global North focused on shared cultural, economic and political values, coverage of the global South emphasised difference, reinforcing an “us” and “them” mentality based on the poor alignment of national/political interests. Such disparities are deeply problematic for informing the public about global matters of concern, creating empathy between nations, and building support for collective action.

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