The Shake Felt Round the World: An Examination of Framing of Social Inequality in Local Media in the Wake of the Earthquake in Haiti

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This paper examines framing in two localized media sources in the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti to observe any potential differences in the presentation of social inequality and poverty. Much of the previous literature on media framing and disasters has indicated that media plays an important role in public perception of events. This paper uses the method of content analysis to discover if the phenomenon of framing differed in local media sources serving the Haitian-American and English speaking Dominican Republic communities. This will make significant contributions to our understanding of the role of the media in reporting on disasters through an analysis of sources providing news to peripheral populations. Most media studies focus on media from wealthy core nations regardless of where the disaster occurred. Offering a localized perspective will allow for a greater understanding of media framing by those having a greater familiarity with the impacted community. This study finds that there are differences in how an event is framed based on what a news source’s readership finds interesting.
Earthquake-Case Studies, Developing Countries' Problems, Mass Media, Economics