Reporting Death and Disaster: The Paradox beyond the Numbers
Courtney, C. (2007). Reporting Death and Disaster: The Paradox beyond the Numbers (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2306
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2306
The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed over two hundred thousand people in the fifteen countries the tsunami struck. Amidst extensive media coverage, the New Zealand Herald published in excess of two hundred online articles focusing on the event and aftermath. Representations of death and the dead within these articles are often stereotypical and formulaic. Discourse analysis revealed that death and the dead are represented through both metaphorical images and abject descriptions on two distinct scales. Both the bodies and the characters of the dead are handled explicitly according to socially acceptable trends. The dead are also situated spatially with specific identities constructed and reported on. Utilising discourses from throughout the social sciences, analysis of online publications reveals the way perceptions of media consumers to death both inform and are informed by media producers.
The University of Waikato
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