News Framing

David Tewksbury

in Communication

ISBN: 9780199756841
Published online February 2011 | | DOI:
News Framing

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How political issues are presented in news stories makes a difference. That rather simple statement is the core of framing research. During much of the growth in political communication research in the 1970s and 1980s, researchers focused their attention on how much coverage issues garner in the news; they less frequently studied how the issues were described. The construction of frames for issues in the news and their effects on news audiences developed as a prominent concern in communication in the 1990s. This interest continues in the early 21st century. The news framing research literature contains many definitions of a frame. At their core, most definitions state that a news frame is the verbal and visual information in an article that directly or implicitly suggests what the problem is about, how it can be addressed, and who is responsible for creating and solving it. The simplicity of the idea that news descriptions of issues matter belies the growing complexity of research in this area. Frames originate with journalists and their beliefs about what constitute news topics and political reality, with the activities of people and groups who sponsor specific interpretations of issues, and with the events and cultural contexts within which they all work. Framing research also sees substantial diversity in ways that frames are conceptualized and studied, in theoretical explanations for the effects of frames on audiences, and in potential relationships between framing and other processes. This intellectual diversity is a source of concern for some scholars but others see it as inevitable and even desirable for a research domain with so much to offer the field of communication.

Article.  8532 words. 

Subjects: Communication Studies

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