Tracing Media Dynamics of Post-3.11 Japan: Towards an Inter-media Society

Ms  Sonja  Petrovic3

3University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

This presentation uses the case study of the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster of 2011 (known collectively as the 3.11 disaster) to examine shifts and dynamics in the contemporary Japanese media landscape. In the wake of disruption caused by the 3.11 disaster, live broadcasts and emotional discourses contributed to the mobilisation of collective solidarities. Social media introduced new forms of interaction among individuals which transcended temporal and spatial barriers, challenging the role of traditional mass media. Based on in-depth interviews and social media data from Japan, my study suggests that following 3.11, Japanese media users moved from using traditional mass media as their sole source of news to a personalised, inter-media environment, and that this supported the emergence of affective communities. The intensified sense of communal belonging facilitated the practice of seeking and evaluating information and media credibility, and these inter-media practices have become more embedded in Japanese society since 3.11. Analysing the opportunities and challenges that social media create in the wake of disaster and understanding the dynamics of media use across a range of platforms may allow us to predict how Japanese media users will utilise new communication tools to cope with future disasters.


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The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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