Homogenous or Not?

Friday, July 18, 2014: 4:15 PM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Robert MOWRY , University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
“Homogenous or Not? Content Analysis of Japanese Anti-Nuclear Editorials, 1954-1970”

Abstract: This research contributes to the debate on Japanese media homogeneity by demonstrating that anti-nuclear editorials exhibit more diversity than homogeneity overall for the period from 1954-1970. Several observers have noted that Japan’s major daily newspapers are homogenous in their news reporting and editorials, and that Japanese news coverage of the anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is ritualistic and avoids controversy. 53 memorial editorials appearing from 1954-1970 in the Asahi, Yomiuri, Nikkei and Sankei newspapers are surveyed and coded for indicators of progressive-conservative and universalist-particularist orientation; the content analysis undertaken indicates a diversity of newspaper editorial positions along progressive-conservative and universalist-particularist continua, with the Asahi the most progressive and universalistic of the four publications surveyed. While relative unanimity of opposition to nuclear arms is also found, the analysis indicates that nuclear arms were opposed for a variety of motives which could be characterized as either universalistic or particularistic.  Further differentiation is observed on contextual issue positions such as aid for hibakusha, United States accountability in the bombings, and the influence of the domestic communist and socialist parties on the anti-nuclear movement.