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Title: Flood Disasters in the UK and India: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Media Reporting
Authors: Henderson, L
Solman, P
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: Journalism
Abstract: Reports of flooding are becoming more frequent in the UK media, and evidence from the UK Environment Agency indicates that ‘living with flooding’ will become commonplace rather than exceptional. This study is the first to adopt a critical discourse analysis approach to compare UK newspaper reporting of floods in the developed and developing world. We present our analysis of major flood incidents in Northern England and Chennai, India, in 2015. Our findings identify that UK newspapers not only give greater prominence to flooding events that are local but also frame differently those affected. Reports of floods in Northern England reinforced similarities and shared values between victims and assumed readers by drawing upon personal stories, emotions and suffering. By contrast, reports about floods in Chennai portrayed victims as anonymous ‘distant Others’, emphasising the drama of the incident rather than the plight of individuals. We argue that the newspapers’ approach to covering flooding reveals how the Western-dominated global media continues to emphasise difference rather than similarity between people in the developed and developing world, presenting flooding in the UK as exceptional and flooding in India as normalised. We believe these findings have important implications in the context of globalisation and increasing migration.
ISSN: 1464-8849
Appears in Collections:Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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