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The Impact of Contradicting Media Messages on Political Perceptions: The Case of a Partisan Dispute in Korea over Lifting Ban on U.S. Beef Imports
Unformatted Document Text:  THE IMPACT OF CONFLICTING FRAMES 5 disease and the inappropriateness of government’s decision, whereas newspapers predominantly stressed the safety and benefits of importing U.S. beef. Also noteworthy is the role the Internet played as an important communication channel. When it comes to its power to disseminate information, during the initial one month period, for example, at least more than 15,000 issue-related posts were uploaded on the Internet . A content analysis of the user-created content reveals that online forums served as the locus of spreading information about scheduled protests and health threats of U.S. beef . In addition, anecdotal evidence suggests that the online content in general is very critical of the import decision and the government . Therefore, it can be concluded that online content and television news share a critical tone, while the former delivers the tone with “uncensored” voices. Moreover, the new media, in its own right, appears to have a great influence on popular evaluations of the issue. Indeed, according to the Korean annual polls on media users 1 , as of 2008, the Internet serves as one of the primary sources that people rely on to obtain information on domestic politics. Given the disapproving tone of online content and its influence, conservatives, including the conservative media, the administration and civic groups, pointed out the Internet as the culprit of unfavorable public attitudes toward the government’s decision and a major source of “social disrupting groundless rumors” about the health risk of U.S. beef . Partisan battles were also waged between civic organizations. Liberal civic groups organized a series of massive demonstrations to protest against the conservative government’s decision. In response to the protests, conservative civic organizations staged counteracting rallies to support the administration . 1 Source: Korea Press Foundation, 2008 Onronsuyongja uisikchosa [Annual Polls on Media Users 2008], p. 241.

Authors: Lee, ByungGu.
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THE IMPACT OF CONFLICTING FRAMES   
      5
disease and the inappropriateness of government’s decision, whereas newspapers predominantly 
stressed the safety and benefits of importing U.S. beef.  
Also noteworthy is the role the Internet played as an important communication channel. 
When it comes to its power to disseminate information, during the initial one month period, for 
example, at least more than 15,000 issue-related posts were uploaded on the Internet . A content 
analysis of the user-created content reveals that online forums served as the locus of spreading 
information about scheduled protests and health threats of U.S. beef .  In addition, anecdotal 
evidence suggests that the online content in general is very critical of the import decision and the 
government . Therefore, it can be concluded that online content and television news share a 
critical tone, while the former delivers the tone with “uncensored” voices. Moreover, the new 
media, in its own right, appears to have a great influence on popular evaluations of the issue. 
Indeed, according to the Korean annual polls on media users
, as of 2008, the Internet  serves as 
one of the primary sources that people rely on to obtain information on domestic politics. Given 
the disapproving tone of online content and its influence, conservatives, including the 
conservative media, the administration and civic groups, pointed out the Internet as the culprit of 
unfavorable public attitudes toward the government’s decision and a major source of “social 
disrupting groundless rumors” about the health risk of U.S. beef .
Partisan battles were also waged between civic organizations. Liberal civic groups 
organized a series of massive demonstrations to protest against the conservative government’s 
decision. In response to the protests, conservative civic organizations staged counteracting rallies 
to support the administration . 
1
 Source: Korea Press Foundation, 2008 Onronsuyongja uisikchosa [Annual Polls on Media Users 2008], p. 241.


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