Media and religious language - Comparative text analysis in German, English and Japanese about the 3.11 earthquake, tsunami and fukushima catastrophe in Japan 2011

Yukiko Sato, Ikumi Waragai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The choice of expressions used in news reports is dependent on their language, the perspective of the journalist and the purpose of the news. Previous research by Miyata (2002) and Chomsky (2003) shows that religious language has often been used in the media to convey political ideas and legitimize political acts to the public. Based on that theory this research will try to clarify the reasons for utilizing religious language as a method of expression when delivering news articles about the 2011 catastrophe in Japan. Religious language, which in the context of this paper refers to expressions originating from a Christian context, appears in Western news reports, even when reporting about secular events. This study will investigate Japanese, American and German newspaper articles, related to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan, since Germany and the USA have different cultural as well as religious backgrounds compared to Japan. It aims to analyze the use and function of religious (Christian) expressions, especially religious metaphors and symbols, and to clarify how religious elements can change perception of an article, concerning the Earthquake, Tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster. In total 540 articles in Japanese, German and English were analyzed. 37961 words, 2400 sentences and 36 pictures appearing in German and American national newspapers, printed from 2012 to 2016, were taken into account through a critical discourse analysis. 40 religious elements were found. Religious language is mostly used symbolically as well as metaphorically in order to illustrate the devastation caused by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, as well as the suffering and hope of the victims. Furthermore, in Germany, religious language employed in news articles concerning the catastrophe in Japan also serves to emphasize domestic social and political problems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2016 International Conference on Knowledge Creation and Intelligent Computing, KCIC 2016
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages155-162
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781509052318
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 20
Event5th International Conference on Knowledge Creation and Intelligent Computing, KCIC 2016 - Manado, Indonesia
Duration: 2016 Nov 152016 Nov 17

Other

Other5th International Conference on Knowledge Creation and Intelligent Computing, KCIC 2016
CountryIndonesia
CityManado
Period16/11/1516/11/17

Keywords

  • 3.11 News Reports
  • German and American News Coverage
  • Language and Media
  • Religious Language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence

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    Sato, Y., & Waragai, I. (2017). Media and religious language - Comparative text analysis in German, English and Japanese about the 3.11 earthquake, tsunami and fukushima catastrophe in Japan 2011. In 2016 International Conference on Knowledge Creation and Intelligent Computing, KCIC 2016 (pp. 155-162). [7883640] Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/KCIC.2016.7883640