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Frame Adoption in Referendum Campaigns : The Effect of News Coverage on the Public Salience of Issue Interpretations


Wettstein, Martin (2012). Frame Adoption in Referendum Campaigns : The Effect of News Coverage on the Public Salience of Issue Interpretations. American Behavioral Scientist, 56(3):318-333.

Abstract

Answering the call for nonexperimental framing effects research, this article analyzes the effects of news frames on citizens’ political cognitions using data derived from a campaign on the naturalization of immigrants. A content analysis of TV and newspaper coverage was combined at the individual level with answers to open- and closed-ended panel survey questions. The results largely confirm prior experimental framing effects research. Media frames had a strong impact on their public salience. Prior to the campaign, however, audience members interpreted the issue in different ways. Individual media exposure was found to affect frame adoption for all respondents (and all frames investigated), irrespective of the initial attitudes of respondents and the frames’ origin. The implications of these findings for experimental and nonexperimental framing effects research are discussed.

Abstract

Answering the call for nonexperimental framing effects research, this article analyzes the effects of news frames on citizens’ political cognitions using data derived from a campaign on the naturalization of immigrants. A content analysis of TV and newspaper coverage was combined at the individual level with answers to open- and closed-ended panel survey questions. The results largely confirm prior experimental framing effects research. Media frames had a strong impact on their public salience. Prior to the campaign, however, audience members interpreted the issue in different ways. Individual media exposure was found to affect frame adoption for all respondents (and all frames investigated), irrespective of the initial attitudes of respondents and the frames’ origin. The implications of these findings for experimental and nonexperimental framing effects research are discussed.

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Citations

10 citations in Web of Science®
10 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:07 Dec 2012 12:42
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:07
Publisher:SAGE Publications
Series Name:American Behavioral Scientist
ISSN:0002-7642
Funders:Swiss National Science Foundation
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764211426328

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