#fukushima Five Years On: A Multimethod Analysis of Twitter on the Anniversary of the Nuclear Disaster

Anna Rantasila, Anu Sirola, Arto Kekkonen, Katja Valaskivi, Risto Kunelius


This article examines how the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was commemorated on English-speaking Twitter in March 2016. By combining social network analysis and critical discourse analysis, a research design is developed that can be applied to study the structure of actors and interpretative resources invoked in the crafting of communal remembrance of a disruptive, global media event. In the study, we explore the most visible actors and the most dominant meanings in the #fukushima stream. According to our analysis, the most significant players were the mainstream media and other established organizations. While most of the retweeted messages contained a ritual element of collective memory work, grief, and observance, another prominent feature was the strongly politicized discourse surrounding the aftermath of the disaster.


multimethod, Twitter, hybrid media, social network analysis, critical discourse analysis, Fukushima Daiichi

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