Media Discourse About the Pandemic Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in East Asia: The Case of China and Japan
27 Pages Posted: 18 May 2020 Publication Status: Under Review
Irrespective of the nations and media, from 20 January 2020 to the date, the term ‘coronavirus’ is uttered and or written most frequently. Recent emergence of this coronavirus related disease, which is called COVID-19, first reported from Wuhan city of the capital of Hubei Province of China (mainland) during December 2019, and this virus has caused today’s pandemic. As of 14 April 2020, this pandemic has affected 1,925,811 persons across 232 countries and territories. Not only every sectors of all these affected countries are concerned to the pandemic but also all sorts of medias are imposing their hughest concerns to present news, perceptions and opinions related to the outbreak. Notably, the English version of e-newspapers of affected countries played a pivotal role in informing the world about the spread and infection, preparedness and awareness situation, institutional efforts and such other critical issues. During this pandemic created by COVID-19, how English version of e-newspapers of first two affected countries,China and Japan, which are not English speakimg and have different socio-economic and political settings, have highlighted their news and informed global communities are essential to analyze. It is now well known that COVID-19 has imposed high impacts on every aspect of our lives. Health, society, economy, politics, environment, sports, technology, and media all are now somehow shaped by the outbreak of COVID-19. How experts' thoughts and perceptions published in newspapers are highlighting, and developing these aspects of our lives is crucial to understand. Therefore, this paper aims to explore the thoughts and highlights presented by the two leading English newspapers in China and Japan from January to March. Within three months, both in China and Japan media shifted their focuses from health and preparedness to economy, politics and social welfare. However, the shift and focus were different in China and Japan. Governance and social welfare were key concerns of China; in contrast, global politics received the highest attention by the experts of Japan`s newspaper. Understanding and analysis of this study can give guidance to other countries' news media to play effective roles to manage health crisis. It also offer direction to the leading media to shape their role and contribution to society and policy making during crisis and catastrophe.
Keywords: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Media, e-newspaper, China, Japan
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