Disasters in the news: Hurricane Irma
The media and its news coverage have a big influence and possibly shape the public’s opinion. An often used method to shape news coverage is framing; certain aspects of a perceived reality are selected and made more noticeable, to stand out in a news text (Entman, 1993). Semetko and Valkenburg (2000) found five common frames: conflict, human-interest, attribution of responsibility, morality and economic consequences frame. The aim of the present study was to measure to what extent American and Dutch news coverage of hurricane Irma in Sint Martin, differs when looking into these five frames. Results showed that the US made more use of the human-interest, and economic consequences frame, and the Netherlands made more use of the conflict frame. This could be due to the differences in political relationships the countries have with Sint Martin. Furthermore, cultural aspects, such as long-term orientation and masculinity, and journalistic characteristics could have influenced the usage of frames of the US and the Netherlands.
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