Issue Salience in the U.S. Elections: “Partisan Domestication” between South Korean Newspapers

Jae Sik Ha, Uche Onyebadi, Dong-Hee Shin


This study examines how two newspapers in South Korea, one conservative and one liberal, covered the U.S. presidential election of 2008. The study found that there was a significant divergence in the emphasis placed on certain types of issues between the two ideologically polarized newspapers. While the liberal Hankyoreh Daily placed more emphasis on social justice issues –such as racial equality and the abolition of social discrimination, the conservative Chosun Daily highlighted “human interest” issues, focusing on more trivial topics such as the candidates’ gender, family, and fashion preferences. There was also a difference in the types of news sources used by the two newspapers. The Hankyoreh Daily sought to represent the voices of the South Korean elite, while The Chosun Daily used American politicians as one of its major source of information. This study argues that a news organization’s ideological orientation is an important factor, which influences South Korean newspapers’ “domestication” of the U.S. election, which was staged in a distant region.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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