In this post we show how global medial is following the Japan disaster geographically. Using our methodology we can identify which are the focus of the news.
As we showed in our post about the analysis of the media impact of the crisis in countries like Tunisia or Egypt and the related media impact of Wikileaks news about these countries, we adapt here the same approach to show which are the cities that receive more media attention and how it evolves in time in short aftermath of the devastating Japan earthquake and tsunami.
We use units of media impact. In this post, a value 1 of media impact refers to the average media impact produced by top 100 cities in Japan by population.
Our first analysis refer to the evolution of the media impact of top ranked Japanese cities by population. First value of the graph refers to the media impact of each city during all year 2010. The follows the evolution of theyr media impact in the three first days after the earthquake. As expected Tokyo media impact dominance is overwhelming before the tragedy, as it is the media reference in Japan because of population and capitality. It presents a media impact value 2010 of some 34 points: it has received some 34 times more news than the average top 100 cities in Japan during year 2010. After the earthquake Tokyo loses some weight, moving in the range 25-30. This is due to the increase of mid size cities more directly affected by the earthquake and the tsunami. Yokohama is present in the news after the earthquake, while Osaka, Nagoya and Sapporo decrease their media impact as they are fortunately not related to the disaster.
Among the following cities by population size, still with more than one million inhabitants, we count with Sendai, terribly affected by the tsunami. During this stage of the media coverage reaches a media impact of 14 points, becoming the second city by media coverage. As other cities not directly affected by the disaster, Kyoto and Fukuoka diminish their media impact. Hiroshima is a special case. Right after the earthquake it lost media impact, as preserved from the earthquake effects, but the trend changes by March 12. This corresponds to the increase of media awareness about the nuclear problems first monitored in Fukushima nuclear plant after the first blast. Hiroshima increases its media impact in international media coverage, as one of the historical references of nuclear disasters.
Now we show which are the cities that are in the frontline of news about Japan earthquake, among cities counting with more than 100,000 inhabitants. They are 254 cities in Japan. It includes Fukushima.
In the first figure we show the media impact evolution of the three cities most affected by the earthquake and the tsunami in terms of media impact generated since March 11. They are Tokyo, Sendai and Fukushima. These graphs allows us to provide information about the initial storyline of the disaster, fisrt centered in the information about and coming from Tokyo. Then came the news about the devastating impact of the tsunami in Sendai, which concentrates the increase of media attention, with a huge rise of media impact units. Mention about problems with the nuclear plants appear in the fist day concerning Fukushima, but this city appears initially in the news mainly due also to the tsunami suffered. The increasing role and risk assigned to the nuclear risks appear evident by the beginning of March 12, with the first explosion in reactor 1. It becomes the media reference these last two days, increasing its media impact value to 20 points, surpassing the references to Sendai.
In the following figure we show the media impact evolution of other cities relevant during this first three days after the earthquake. We observe the increase of presence of Narita but not from the early initial stage. Its increase reflects the relevance of the International Airport in the right aftermath of the tragedy. We also appreciate a common trend for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Their weight decrease first, as they are cities not directly touched by the earthquake. But as the nuclear fears emerge with Fukushima, Onagawa and Tokai nuclear plants incidents, international media refers to other nuclear disasters, talking again about the atomic bombing nightmare suffered by Japan.