Mass and New Media: Review of Framing, Treatment and Sources in Reporting on Fukushima

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How was information about the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster presented and transmitted in traditional and new media? How did these two major families interact in the post-Fukushima media dynamic? We reviewed 30 scientific publications or presentations dealing with mass media behaviour and its effects in the case of the March 2011 Fukushima accident. Data from Japan and also from other world regions were considered. Our structured review considered the framing and interpretation found in the media and the sources cited. A brief online survey also was conducted to complete our understanding of how European institutions applied social media in this crisis. Traditional media were found to provide context including frequent comparisons with the Chernobyl accident, however the expert technical vocabulary of radiation appeared incompletely translated. The number and range of cited sources grew in the days following the accident. Institutions used social media mainly as an expedient when traditional websites crashed under the weight of consultation. In contrast, a form of 'citizen journalism' emerged when social networks sped, decentralised and diversified information provision while offering platforms for direct citizen participation, expression and feedback. This dynamic offers opportunities for moving closer to a citizen-centred ideal of risk communication.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
JournalInternational Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


  • Risk communication, ionizing radiation mass media, new media, Fukushima, survey

ID: 339476