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Framing media mergers in France and the United States
Unformatted Document Text:  Framing media mergers in France and the United States 22 interest frames are not overlapping constructs. Only 3 out of 10 articles which were identified as having primary public interest frames contained a nationalist narrative (see Table 1). Discussion The results suggest that differences in the coverage of mergers between France and the United States exist but are not pronounced. However, they do echo Vaara and Tienari’s (2002) findings regarding the limited scope with which mergers are presented in the mass media. In both countries, commercial frames, which imply that for all their historical value these two media mergers were purely financial events, were dominant. Commercial frames limit the relevance of these events to the life of the readers. In essence, they imply that the mergers would affect only media executives and stock- market investors. If a reader is not an investor herself, a report that deals with the implications of a merger would have no real significance for her. The prevalence of primary financial sources – analysts and executives also suggests that journalists, in both countries, conceived the mergers as a financial event, to be mainly interpreted by financial actors. However, source analysis did suggest that politicians and regulators are more visible actors in French coverage of mergers. One could speculate on the reason for such a state of affairs. The traditionally active role of the French state in formulating industrial policies might normatively induce French reporters to view these sources as relevant to a micro-economic occurrence such as the VU merger. In contrast, the laissez faire ideology that permeates American society might have limited American journalists’ tendency to seek out the view of politicians and regulators. Additionally, it is

Authors: Davidson, Roei.
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Framing media mergers in France and the United States
22
interest frames are not overlapping constructs. Only 3 out of 10 articles which were
identified as having primary public interest frames contained a nationalist narrative (see
Table 1).
Discussion
The results suggest that differences in the coverage of mergers between France and the
United States exist but are not pronounced. However, they do echo Vaara and Tienari’s
(2002) findings regarding the limited scope with which mergers are presented in the mass
media. In both countries, commercial frames, which imply that for all their historical
value these two media mergers were purely financial events, were dominant.
Commercial frames limit the relevance of these events to the life of the readers. In
essence, they imply that the mergers would affect only media executives and stock-
market investors. If a reader is not an investor herself, a report that deals with the
implications of a merger would have no real significance for her.
The prevalence of primary financial sources – analysts and executives also suggests that
journalists, in both countries, conceived the mergers as a financial event, to be mainly
interpreted by financial actors. However, source analysis did suggest that politicians and
regulators are more visible actors in French coverage of mergers. One could speculate on
the reason for such a state of affairs. The traditionally active role of the French state in
formulating industrial policies might normatively induce French reporters to view these
sources as relevant to a micro-economic occurrence such as the VU merger. In contrast,
the laissez faire ideology that permeates American society might have limited American
journalists’ tendency to seek out the view of politicians and regulators. Additionally, it is


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