Media attention to nuclear accidents: Fukushima as a case study

Research outputpeer-review


This research seeks to capture and explain media reporting about the nuclear accident in Fukushima and makes a link from media reporting to the public policy debate. The nuclear energy program debate in media articles is analysed and the use of collective memory in media reporting about the Fukushima nuclear accident is identified. The study is based on content analysis of two quality newspapers in Belgium, one in Dutch language, the other in French language. The data base consists of 260 articles published in the two months after the Fukushima nuclear accident and 34 articles published in the two weeks of the first (one year) commemoration of the accident. Every article was coded by two independent coders for each language group. The results clearly demonstrate that journalists linked the nuclear accident in Japan with other domestic or international issues. The Fukushima nuclear accident was frequently used as a starting point for the discussion about nuclear energy policy and the future of nuclear energy. In addition, the Fukushima nuclear accident was presented in the media in the light of the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransactions: Civil society
Place of PublicationManchaster, United Kingdom
StatePublished - 11 Dec 2012
EventENC - European nuclear conference - European Nuclear Society, Manchester
Duration: 9 Dec 201212 Dec 2012

Publication series

NameEuropean nuclear confeerence


ConferenceENC - European nuclear conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Cite this