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Social Development 3.Climate Action

Public perception at the crossroads

: COVID-19 and the Media Depiction of EU countries in South Korea
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Title Public perception at the crossroads
Subtitle COVID-19 and the Media Depiction of EU countries in South Korea
Author Shim, Jaemin
Publisher [Berlin] : KDI-FU Korea-Europe Programme; Institute of Korean Studies, Free University of Berlin
Publication Date 2020 - 11
Material Type Report
Country Europe
South Korea
Holding Institute of Korean Studies, Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin)
Language English License
Series No 4


The primary goal of this paper is to examine how European countries have been perceived by the South Korean media with respect to the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Based on key media outlets in South Korea, the paper examines both the saliency and sentiment of news media coverage on 27 EU countries and the United Kingdom in the first three months of 2020. The result shows that these European countries have been exposed to the Korean media substantially more than in normal times, and that was largely driven by issues related to COVID-19. In addition to the increased saliency, the sentiment analysis demonstrates that the newspaper coverage has largely portrayed key European countries from a negative viewpoint. Although European countries have so far been seen from a positive light by the South Korean public, the negative media depiction of European countries in relation to a highly salient and cross-nationally comparable crisis like COVID-19 pandemic could damage their public perception in the eyes of South Koreans.

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Copyright to papers in this series remains with the authors or their assignees. Reproduction or reposting of texts in this paper can only be done with the permission of the respective author. The proper form for citing working papers in this series is: Name of author or editor. (Year). Title. Working paper, Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of Korean Studies, Berlin

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