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A Cross-National Comparison of the Effect of Media Products on Country Image: South Korea Images in Six Countries
Unformatted Document Text:  Introduction With the expansion of globalization, countries are being sold in several aspects. In advertisements, countries are sold as wonderful places for foreign tourists. Government officials make world tours to sell their countries to foreign investors. Under the premise that to improve a certain county’s value in international markets, a strategy should be designed to show this country as a country which is full of opportunities, qualities and modernity. Making favorable country images may play an important role in this designing progress, and successive outcomes could have both visible and invisible advantages over other competitors in global market. As a country-related intangible asset (Kim & Chung, 1997), the importance of country image has been emphasized in the field of marketing and tourism (Nagashima, 1970; Hankinson, 2004). Generally, country image is defined as “the total of all descriptive, inferential and informational beliefs one has about a particular country” (Martin and Eroglu, 1993, p. 193). Because favorable country image has impact on encouraging trade, tourism, and inward investments of that country, the formation of a positive image is essential to countries. In the line of this importance, many studies have been conducted to reveal factors may affect the formation of country image. For example, researchers have focused on country visible identity (Jun, 2007), personal knowledge and experience (Gudykunst & Kim, 1997), and country-of-origin (Bilkey & Nes, 1982; Cordell, 1992; Han, 1989; Laroche, Heslop, & Mourali, 2005; Nagashima, 1970; Roth & Romeo, 1992) as the influential factors of country image. However, as one of the most important sources for getting information, the effect of media or media products on the country image is virtually unexplored. As we perceive our society through the lens of media, we perceived other countries or cultures usually through the windows provided by media. In addition, with media convergence, individuals have more 1

Authors: Chang, Byeng-Hee., Lee, Yang-Hwan., Nam, Sang-Hyun. and Kim, Bo-Mi.
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background image
Introduction
With the expansion of globalization, countries are being sold in several aspects. In 
advertisements, countries are sold as wonderful places for foreign tourists. Government officials 
make world tours to sell their countries to foreign investors. Under the premise that to improve a 
certain county’s value in international markets, a strategy should be designed to show this 
country as a country which is full of opportunities, qualities and modernity. Making favorable 
country images may play an important role in this designing progress, and successive outcomes 
could have both visible and invisible advantages over other competitors in global market. 
As a country-related intangible asset (Kim & Chung, 1997), the importance of country 
image has been emphasized in the field of marketing and tourism (Nagashima, 1970; Hankinson, 
2004). Generally, country image is defined as “the total of all descriptive, inferential and 
informational beliefs one has about a particular country” (Martin and Eroglu, 1993, p. 193). 
Because favorable country image has impact on encouraging trade, tourism, and inward 
investments of that country, the formation of a positive image is essential to countries. In the line 
of this importance, many studies have been conducted to reveal factors may affect the formation 
of country image. For example, researchers have focused on country visible identity (Jun, 2007), 
personal knowledge and experience (Gudykunst & Kim, 1997), and country-of-origin (Bilkey & 
Nes, 1982; Cordell, 1992; Han, 1989; Laroche, Heslop, & Mourali, 2005; Nagashima, 1970; 
Roth & Romeo, 1992) as the influential factors of country image. 
However, as one of the most important sources for getting information, the effect of 
media or media products on the country image is virtually unexplored. As we perceive our 
society through the lens of media, we perceived other countries or cultures usually through the 
windows provided by media. In addition, with media convergence, individuals have more 
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