Quality & Quantity

, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 1045–1064 | Cite as

Representations of Australia in South Korean online news: a qualitative and quantitative approach utilizing Leximancer and Korean keywords in context

  • Damien SpryEmail author
  • Tim Dwyer


This article outlines original empirical research using a quantitative computer-assisted big data approach to survey and evaluate the representation of Australia in popular South Korean online news media sources. This is an exploratory content analysis of news reporting (in Korean and English) on Australia in key Korean digital news media providers and distributors over a six-month-period during which certain key events occurred that drew Korean news media attention to Australia. The research aims to address the fundamental question: what forms and patterns of representation of Australia are present in South Korean online news media? It is designed in large part to understand how Australia is present as a theme in Korean online news, and how this theme is contextualized by associated topics, such as trade, security, or tourism. The quantitative analysis is augmented using a qualitative method: a series of key informant interviews conducted with editors and journalists responsible for the production and prioritization of news. Further, it is interpreted by locating the research in the context of the Australia-South Korea relationship. We summarize the complexities that arise when analyzing large amounts of textual content, especially from two very different languages, discuss the opportunities that arise from mixed methods—by combining big data (breadth) with contextual analysis (depth) and offer suggestions for aspiring researchers.


Content analysis Big data Mixed method research Online news South Korea Australia 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Media and CommunicationsThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Public DiplomacyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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