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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 7 What is shared is a concern with creating a more nuanced view of this relationship, integrating elements from more than one of the four models, while concentrating on the effect the media have on potential and actual policy debates, and taking into account the press’ relationship with business and government. In this context, a number of interesting media research questions have been raised: Who is heard in policy coverage? Are audience reactions taken into account? How do public relations techniques affect the developing story? Why does a policy debate die down? Did the debate affect policy? (Bennett, 1993) Were the effects intended or was there a policy backlash? Do effects vary across policy domains? (Spitzer, 1993). Commensurately, the media policy-making link can be measured in three dimensions – a passive-active dimension that assesses the amount of initiative taken by the media with regard to a policy problem 5 , debate or initiative; an intent-effect dimension that attempts to measure whether the media commenced policy coverage with the express intent to influence the debate, or whether influence, if there was any, was unintentional on the part of the media; finally, a private-social dimension, which assesses the way in which the political scope of a policy problem or debate is framed 6 – almost any policy issue can be framed as relevant to only a select number of technocrats or to society at large (Spitzer, 1993), though some issues are deemed less technical and foreign than others or more emotionally charged and thus more amenable to extensive coverage (Paletz, 1998). Above and beyond all theses variables, policy coverage is usually sporadic and intermittent. 5 By “policy problem” we refer to an event that is often not caused by government, but has policy implications government might choose to deal with or abstain from doing so. 6 By framing we refer to “the ways particular issues are cast by political elites … [implying that] the way in which choices are framed will affect the likelihood that particular actions will be selected” (Price and Tewksbury, 1997, 182).

Authors: Davidson, Roei.
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Framing media mergers in France and the United States
7
What is shared is a concern with creating a more nuanced view of this relationship,
integrating elements from more than one of the four models, while concentrating on the
effect the media have on potential and actual policy debates, and taking into account the
press’ relationship with business and government.
In this context, a number of interesting media research questions have been raised: Who
is heard in policy coverage? Are audience reactions taken into account? How do public
relations techniques affect the developing story? Why does a policy debate die down?
Did the debate affect policy? (Bennett, 1993) Were the effects intended or was there a
policy backlash? Do effects vary across policy domains? (Spitzer, 1993).
Commensurately, the media policy-making link can be measured in three dimensions – a
passive-active dimension that assesses the amount of initiative taken by the media with
regard to a policy problem
5
, debate or initiative; an intent-effect dimension that attempts
to measure whether the media commenced policy coverage with the express intent to
influence the debate, or whether influence, if there was any, was unintentional on the part
of the media; finally, a private-social dimension, which assesses the way in which the
political scope of a policy problem or debate is framed
6
– almost any policy issue can be
framed as relevant to only a select number of technocrats or to society at large (Spitzer,
1993), though some issues are deemed less technical and foreign than others or more
emotionally charged and thus more amenable to extensive coverage (Paletz, 1998).
Above and beyond all theses variables, policy coverage is usually sporadic and
intermittent.
5
By “policy problem” we refer to an event that is often not caused by government, but has policy
implications government might choose to deal with or abstain from doing so.
6
By framing we refer to “the ways particular issues are cast by political elites … [implying that] the way in
which choices are framed will affect the likelihood that particular actions will be selected” (Price and
Tewksbury, 1997, 182).


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