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Valenced news frames and public support for the EU
Unformatted Document Text:  RUNNING HEAD: Valenced news frames and public support for the EU 16 empirical test. We analyzed the presence and effects of valenced news frames in the coverage of a common political event in a cross-national perspective. In the analysis of six newspapers and six television news programs from three European Union countries – Germany, the Netherlands, and Britain – over a period of eight days around the EU summit in Nice in December 2000, we investigated the visibility of the summit, the use of three different media frames for covering the summit, and the inherent valance of these media frames. The design allows for cross-country and between-outlet comparisons. The content analysis revealed that EU related news took up about 10% of the more than 700 news stories included in the sample. Most of this news dealt specifically with the summit. Whereas the differences in visibility of EU news between countries were marginal, we found considerable variation in reporting between serious and sensationalist outlets. Overall, public broadcasting news programs and broadsheet newspapers covered EU more and in longer articles or lengthier television news items than the commercial and more sensationalist counterparts. We investigated the use of an economic consequences, a political-institutional consequences, and a social-cultural consequences frame in the coverage of the Nice summit. The content analysis demonstrated that the summit was predominantly framed in terms of political-institutional consequences, that is news focusing on the political implications of the summit, both domestically and for the European Union. No considerable differences in framing were found between medium, outlet, or country in which the story appeared. In order to identify the inherent valance of the media frames, it was coded whether consequences were portrayed as being advantageous, neutral, or disadvantageous. Almost half of the news was framed disadvantageously (45%) compared to one-fourth neutral and one-fourth advantageously. The important contribution of the content analysis is the investigation of the news framing of an event and the inherent values carried by these frames. Although previous research investigated the use or the impact of implicitly valenced frames (see theory section), no study thus far explicitly and purposely focused on valenced frames. We found that the consequences frames under investigation indeed frequently carried an either positive or

Authors: De Vreese, Claes. and Boomgaarden, Hajo.
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RUNNING HEAD: Valenced news frames and public support for the EU
16
empirical test. We analyzed the presence and effects of valenced news frames in the
coverage of a common political event in a cross-national perspective.
In the analysis of six newspapers and six television news programs from three
European Union countries – Germany, the Netherlands, and Britain – over a period of eight
days around the EU summit in Nice in December 2000, we investigated the visibility of the
summit, the use of three different media frames for covering the summit, and the inherent
valance of these media frames. The design allows for cross-country and between-outlet
comparisons. The content analysis revealed that EU related news took up about 10% of the
more than 700 news stories included in the sample. Most of this news dealt specifically with
the summit. Whereas the differences in visibility of EU news between countries were
marginal, we found considerable variation in reporting between serious and sensationalist
outlets. Overall, public broadcasting news programs and broadsheet newspapers covered EU
more and in longer articles or lengthier television news items than the commercial and more
sensationalist counterparts.
We investigated the use of an economic consequences, a political-institutional
consequences, and a social-cultural consequences frame in the coverage of the Nice summit.
The content analysis demonstrated that the summit was predominantly framed in terms of
political-institutional consequences, that is news focusing on the political implications of the
summit, both domestically and for the European Union. No considerable differences in
framing were found between medium, outlet, or country in which the story appeared. In order
to identify the inherent valance of the media frames, it was coded whether consequences
were portrayed as being advantageous, neutral, or disadvantageous. Almost half of the news
was framed disadvantageously (45%) compared to one-fourth neutral and one-fourth
advantageously.
The important contribution of the content analysis is the investigation of the news
framing of an event and the inherent values carried by these frames. Although previous
research investigated the use or the impact of implicitly valenced frames (see theory section),
no study thus far explicitly and purposely focused on valenced frames. We found that the
consequences frames under investigation indeed frequently carried an either positive or


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