U. S media coverage of the Asian tsunami

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Belton, Suzie
Issue Date
BA (Hons) Arts
Dublin Business School
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The study of news has been at the forefront of all media literature. What we have learned from this literature is that news is constructed. All forms of media have been accused of using certain values, which inevitably determine the worthiness of news. As we know, hundreds events happen each and every day and what must be asked is how some events become news and some do not? Many scholars have theories, which answer this question and the majority of them revolve around some sort of predetermined values. News organisations have been accused of applying these values to foreign news in particular. The majority of the audience is concerned with proximity and this concern effects what we want to hear about in the news. The audience is preoccupied with the news which will effect them which is mainly domestic news. Foreign news coverage of particular events regularly incorporate domestic news. The tsunami was a particular interesting event as it did not only affect the locals of the damaged areas but many tourists which were Western were either killed or displaced due to the catastrophe. The event provided an opportunity to study the media's reaction. A media circus was prompted and thousands of tourists from affluent countries were affected. When looking at the reaction of the news media, we have to ask the question, would there have been such a large interest in the event if no tourists were affected?