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Framing, Agenda Setting, and Disease Phobia of AIDS-Related Coverage in the South Korean Mass Media

Jung, Minsoo PhD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/HCM.0b013e31827edbc0

There has been little research on the concrete role of the press in discourses on AIDS. This study investigated the AIDS discourses created by the major media. In particular, from the perspective of the agenda-setting theory, it examines differences in the framing of AIDS-related news depending on the political orientation and news sources of the press. This study analyzed the thematic frames and news sources implied by AIDS-related coverage. The 2 major media representing conservatism and progressivism were selected as the objects of analysis. As for the search engine for content analysis, the Korean Integrated Newspaper Database System was used, and 151 articles containing “AIDS” or “HIV” over 5 years from January 2005 to December 2010 were analyzed. According to the results of the analysis, there were the 6 following frames: aid/support, accident, human rights, risk, prevention, and biomedicine. Whereas the conservative press in South Korea continued to frame AIDS in the traditional way, the progressive press tended relatively more often to attempt new agenda setting, from the perspective of human rights and inequality. However, both newspaper companies tended mostly to select experts as the sources of AIDS news, thus continuing to exclude infectees and civil and society organizations.

Author Affiliation: Center for Community-Based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.

The author has no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Minsoo Jung, PhD, MPH, Center for Community-Based Research, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, 375 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115 (

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.