Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Beijing Pollution Concerns Continue as Subject of Media Coverage

By Dow Jones Insight Staff

The poor air quality in Beijing has long been a concern for the athletes training to compete in the Olympic Games. Now comes another environmental issue: water pollution. The Yellow Sea in the city of Qingdao, the site of the Olympic sailing and yachting events, has been inundated with a thick algae bloom. News of the slimy green problem precipitated a spike in media coverage of the environment and athletes’ health.

Coverage increased more than fourfold, from about 50 mentions of environmental issues on July 5 to 236 mentions on July 8. The increased coverage included reports of the algae bloom, China’s extensive clean-up effort and expressions of concern from athletes who will be competing at the venue. The environment stayed in the news, though with a bit less fervor, in the days that followed. Coverage turned to Beijing’s continuing pollution problems and the government’s additional remedies, including closing some factories and other businesses such as dry-cleaning, cement-mixing and auto-repair facilities until after the Games.

During this time discussions surrounding the effects of pollution on athletes’ health tracked closely with coverage of the environment around Beijing in general.

Methodology: Analysis includes 6,000 newspapers, wires, magazines, radio and TV transcripts; about 13,000 current-awareness news sites; 60,000 message boards and about two million blogs.

No comments: