Resilience and the Media: Information Gap in the 3.11 Disaster News Reports

Ryuma Shineha

Faculty of Arts and Literature, Seijo University, Japan

Mikihito Tanaka

Graduate School of Political Science, Waseda University, Japan

How to fill gaps of media attention between national and local media during and after the disaster? This question is important for social resilience during the reconstruction and recovery process. From our previous study, it was found out that there have been clear differences of media topics between local and national media after the 3.11 crisis. Gaps due to media attention brought about multilevel gaps of the power related to agenda building in the aftermath of the 3.11 crisis. For example, local journalists felt powerless to support their agenda at national level under this situation (focus group study). In other words, this gap makes local damaged sites undermined by the informational majority in the metropolitan areas.

In this paper, we discuss gaps of the power in agenda building concerning the 3.11 related issues between national and local level from the perspective of “news media resilience”. Thus, we try to compare media discourses regarding “reconstruction and recovery from the 3.11” between national and local news media: How to understand this gap of agenda building on recovery generated by the gap of media attention between national and local media? This question relates to a next question “how to fill gaps of media attention during and after the disaster between national and local media?” It can also be paraphrased as “how to achieve a reflexive circuit of the agenda process concerning the disaster”. We would like to call the reflexive circuit of making the agenda between national and local media as “news media resilience”.

The disaster has always occurred beyond the local, but has been limited to being discussed over the local. Weak news media resilience isolated local news agenda from national-level agenda building. How can we evaluate news media resilience in order to make it stronger? We would like to examine this idea from the case of the 3.11.

1. Diganta Das
2. Chihyung Jeon