The Evolution of American Journalistic Cartography and Perceptions of Geopolitics on the Korean Peninsula

Authors: Sungmin Jang*, University of Connecticut
Topics: Cartography, Political Geography, Communication
Keywords: journalistic cartography, narrative cartography, Korea,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2020
Start / End Time: 8:40 AM / 9:55 AM
Room: Plaza Ballroom E, Sheraton, Concourse Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In geography and cartography, newspapers are one of the important sources of data because they are printed every day all over the world. This type of maps is referred to as “journalistic cartography.” Journalistic cartography is at the intersection of cartography and media studies, and the history of the newspaper map, of course, traces back to the origin of newspapers. Journalism has constraints on inserting maps on newspaper ‒ the daily deadline, print quality, color range, space allocation on the page, editorial budgets, and opportunity costs of image space versus word space ‒ therefore, certain features of maps in newspapers have been omitted, emphasized, distorted accidentally or intentionally. Mostly, rather than technical issues, these phenomena can be referred to as “political absences” or “political silences.” The broad aim of this study is to explore ways in which the American media have framed and portrayed geopolitics in the Korean peninsula, and to analyze how the media perception correlates with external factors. To examine this portrayal, this research concentrates on maps in newspaper articles associated with the Korean situation from 1950 when the Korean War broke out. This study selected five major U.S. newspapers. The map analysis is oriented to a qualitative approach is to make different stories and narratives by comparing among maps showing the same event but from different newspapers. This process is important because maps are also affected by the direction of an editor and newspaper company, even if the map is provided by the same source.

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