What is Media Framing Analysis?

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Media Framing Analysis is a growing area in communication research interested in how media represent a specific topic, by drawing attention to specific issues at the expense of others, the various factors and actors that may exert an influence on this selection process, as well as the potential impact news framing may have on its audience’s perceptions and actions. One of the most cited definition of media framing was given by Entman (1993):

“Framing essentially involves selection and salience. To frame is to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation, and / o r treatment recommendation for the item described.”

Media framing often manifests itself by the choice of some keywords, key phrases and images that reinforce a particular representation of the reality and a specific emotion toward it, and the omission of other elements that could suggest a different perspective or trigger a different sentiment. It can also be observed in the journalist selection of whom to quote, what to quote and where this quotation will be located in the story.

This selection process is known to be influenced by multiple factors, including the journalist personal belief system, his working conditions, the editorial position and journalistic practices in his organization, as well as more distant factors such as the economic environment, the political climate, and by broader ideological and cultural conditions prevalent in his society. News framing by journalists is often highly dependent on the availability of various sources of information and their specific attributes (perceived credibility, legitimacy, power status, etc.) and may shift in time, influenced by new events and changing conditions.

Media framing research usually involved the analysis of media in print or electronic format, using qualitative and quantitative content analysis techniques. Some studies will treat media frames as a dependent variable, analysing a wide range of factors that influences the way journalists or other interest groups frame a specific topic. In other studies, media frames will be conceptualized as independent variables and will examine the influences of new frames on a specific issue on individual’s perception of this issue.

Some Framing Analysis Studies with WordStat and QDA Miner

We have included below a list of media framing studies that have used QDA Miner, WordStat or both software to study media frames. They are in many ways, representative of the diversity of studies that have been done in this area by the type of questions they are attempting to answers as well as the methodology used to mesure frames and related factors.

Al-Rawi, A.K. (2014). Framing the online women’s movements in the Arab world. Information, Communication & Society, 17(9), 1147-1161.

Al-Rawi, A.K. (2015). Sectarianism and the Arab Spring: Framing the popular protest in Bahrain. Global Media and Communication, 2(1), 25-42.

Al-Rawi, A.K. (2016). Assessing public sentiments and news preferences on Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. International Communication Gazette, Online.

Arrese, A., & Vara-Miguel, A. (2016). A comparative study of metaphors in press reporting of the Euro crisis. Discourse & Society, 27(2), 133-155.

Besley, J.C. & McComas, K.A. (2007). Reporting on fairness in civic life: Interviews with journalists about writing on local political leaders. Journalism Practice, 1(3), 339-355.

Crawley, C.E. (2007). Localized debates of agricultural biotechnology in community newspapers: A quantitative content analysis of media frames and sources. Science Communication, 28(3), 413-346.

Daku, M., Gibbs, A., Heymann, J. (July, 2010). Representations of XDR-TB in South African newspaper. Poster presented at the XVII International AIDS Conference, Vienna.

DeRosier, C., Sulemana, I, James, H.S., Valdivia, Fold, W., & Smith, R.D. (2015). A comparative analysis of media reporting of perceived risks and benefits of genetically modified crops and foods in Kenyan and international newspapers. Public Understanding of Science, 24(5), 563-581.

Entman, R.M. (2010). Media framing biases and political power: Explaining slant in news of Campaign 2008. Journalism, 11(4), 389-408.

Entman, R.M. (2012). Scandal and Silence: Media Responses to Presidential Misconduct. Malden, MA: Polity.

Entman, R.M. & Jones, A. (May 2009). Searching for liberal bias: The case of social security. Paper presented at the 59th annual International Communication Association conference. Chicago, IL.

Gabbay, M. & Thirkill-Mackelprang. (September, 2011). A quantitative analysis of insurgent frames, claims, and networks in Iraq. Paper presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting.

Groshek, J., & Al-Rawi, A. (2013). Public Sentiment and Critical Framing in Social Media Content During the 2012 U.S. Presidential Campaign. Social Science Computer Review, 31(5), 563-576.

Haack, P. (2007). Talking Intervention – Attitudes towards german foreign policy and the conditional Influence of emphasis frames. Thesis. Department of Politics and Management: University of Konstanz, Germany.

Haack, P. (2007). Attitudes towards German foreign policy and the conditional Influence of emphasis frames. Doctoral dissertation, Department of Politics and Management, University of Konstanz, Germany.

Harmon, M., Muenchen, R.A., (2009, April), Semantic Framing in the Buildup to the Iraq War: Fox v. CNN and other U.S. Broadcast News Programs, ETC: A Review of General Semantics, 12-26.

Heinrich, H.-G. & Tanaev, K. (2009). Georgia & Russia: Contradictory media coverage of the August war. Caucasian Review of International Affairs, 3(3), 244-260.

Hinojosa (2006). The border beyond the border: Content analysis of editorial articles on the U.S. /Mexico border published in national newspapers as a source for assessing the perception of the border region in bi-national public opinion. Texas Center for Border Economic and Enterprise Development: Texas A&M International University.

Hoffman, L.H. (2007). Public opinion in context: a multilevel model of me dia effects on perceptions of public opinion and political behavior. Doctoral Thesis: Communication department: Ohio State University.

Ironstone-Catterall, P. (2007). From seasonal flu to pandemic influenza: the cultural life of a virus. Canadian Association of Cultural Studies, Edmonton, Canada.

Johnson, T.C. (2009). Covering congress: Media effects on evaluations of the legislative branch. Doctoral Thesis: Department of Political Science:Texas A&M University.

Johnson, T. & Socker, E. (2012). Actions, fractions, and interactions: Newsworthy influences on Supreme Court coverage. Social Science Quarterly, 93(2), 434-463.

Johnson, T. (2012). Equality, morality, and the impact of media framing: Explaining opposition to same-sex marriage and civil unions. Politics & Policy, 40 (6), 1053-1080.

Koenig, T., Mihelj, S., Downney, J. & Bek, M.G. (2006). Media framings of the issue of Turkish access to to the EU: A European or national process? Innovation, 9(2), 149-169.

Leetaru, K.H. (2011). Culturomics 2.0: Forecasting large-scale human behavior using global news media tone in time and space. First Monday, 16(19).

Lowry, D.T. & Xie, L. (May, 2007). Agenda-setting and framing by topic proximity: A new technique for the computerized content analysis of network TV news presidential Campaign Coverage. Paper presented at the International Communication Association, Annual convention, San Francisco.

Lowry, D.T., Xie, L., Witte, O.R. (August, 2008) Agenda setting and rhetorical framing by semantic proximity: a new computerized approach to the analysis of network TV news. Paper presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual convention, Chicago, IL.

Matthews G, & Entman R.M. (May, 2009) Framing and slanting in the children’s health policy debate. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, Chicago.

Mchakulu, J.E.J (2011). Framing political communication in an African context: A comparative analysis of post-election newspaper editorials and parliamentary speeches in Malawi. Doctoral Thesis. Department of Media and Communication. University of Leichester.

Meisner, M. S., & Takahashi, B. (2013). The Nature of Time: How the Covers of the World’s Most Widely Read Weekly News Magazine Visualize Environmental Affairs. Environmental Communication, 7(2), 255-276.

Pan, S. & Ryan (2007). Gender, framing and travelogues. Journal of Travel Research, 45(4), 464-474.

Park, Y. (2008). Newspaper coverage of the South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement: A framing analysis. Master’s thesis, School of Journalism and Electronic Media, University of Tennessee.

Rich, T. (2014). Propaganda with purpose: uncovering patterns in North Korean Nuclear Coverage, 1997–2012. International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, 14, 427-453.

Simon, A.F. & Jerit, J. (2007). Toward a theory relating political discourse, media, and public opinion. Journal of Communication, 57, 254–271.

Takahashi, B., & Meisner, M. (2012). Environmental Discourses and Discourse Coalitions in the Reconfiguration of Peru’s Environmental Governance. Environmental Communication, 6(3), 346-364.

Tolley, E. (May 2011). The colour of your skin, or the content of your character? Race framing in the 2008 Canadian election. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, Waterloo,Ontario.

Tolley, E. (August 2011). Racial mediation and the framing of candidates’ viability in Canadian politics. Paper presented at the 6th General Conference of the European Consortium for Political Research. Reykjavik, Iceland.

Toft, A., English, T., & Thomas, B. (2008). Local mainstream media emphasize fear based discourses in news coverage of urban camping. Homeless Media Coverage Study Group: University of Washington.

Womac, A. (2008). Frames of mountaintop removal in print journalism. Paper presented at the 30th annual research symposium: College of communication and information. University of Tennessee.

Xenos, M. (2008). New mediate deliberation: Blog and press coverage of the Alito nomination. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 13 (2), 485-503.


Selected References on Media Framing Analysis

Entman, R. M. (1993).”Framing: Toward Clarification of a Fractured Paradigm. Journal of Communication, 43(4), 51-58.

D’Angelo, P. (2002). News framing as a multi-paradigmatic research program: A response to Entman. Journal of Communication, 52(4), 870-888.

Reese, S.D., Gandy, O.H., Grant, A.E. (2008). Framing public life: perspectives on media and our understanding of the Social World. Taylor & Francis.

Kuypers, J.A. (2009). Doing news framing analysis: Empirical and theoretical perspectives. Routledge.

Scheufele, D. A. (1999). Framing as a Theory of Media Effects. Journal of Communication, 49(4), 103-122

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