Journalistic Roles and News Framing: A Comparative Framing Analysis of COVID-19 Pandemic Across China, South Korea, and the United States

Bin Chen, Gyo Hyun Koo


Drawing on the latest Worlds of Journalism report, this study identifies the perceived roles of Chinese, Korean, and American journalists and examines the relationship between these role perceptions and the news frames used during COVID-19. Among the various frames, we looked at which frame was used more in each country (frame prevalence) and how those frames were used (framing valence). Based on a content analysis of the news articles (N = 749), we found that Chinese journalists were more likely to use a frame that reassures people but less likely to emphasize uncertainty or conflict. Although South Korean and American journalists share similar role perceptions, Korean journalists used significantly fewer conflict and uncertainty frames than American journalists. When using consequence and action frames, Chinese media was more likely than Korean and American media to present stories positively. The implications of the findings are discussed.



news framing, comparative framing analysis, COVID-19 pandemic, journalistic roles, frame prevalence, frame valence

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