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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 17 negative evaluation of the issue at stake. This presents a new, and considering the impact of valenced frames as outlined below, notable contribution to framing analysis. Based on the findings of the content analysis, we investigated the impact of valenced frames on participants’ policy support. We expected advantageous framing to positively contribute to participants’ policy support, in contrast to disadvantageous framing that was expected to have a negative effect on support for the EU and EU enlargement. The experiment revealed significant effects on the four dependent variables in the expected direction. Specifically, we found that exposure to a disadvantageous framing of the summit contributed to a more negative evaluation of the enlargement and less support for the EU, relative to exposure to an advantageous framing of the event. These results confirm the hypotheses that valenced frames indeed have a capacity to affect policy support. This is particularly important, as earlier research has shown that frames not carrying an inherent valence do have effects on issue interpretation and political cynicism, however, not on policy support (AUTHOR, 2002). Thereby it is implied that valenced frames are more powerful in influencing public support of certain policy issues than un-valenced media frames. The impact of valenced framing on support of EU policy is important to consider in the process of public opinion formation about further European integration. Recently, Burton and Carey (2002) investigated the influence of the British press in shaping public opinion towards the European Union in general and towards the euro in particular. They conclude that “Britain’s highly partisan and bias press do indeed have an influence on the attitudes of their readers towards the EU and towards the possibility of Britain entering the Single European Currency” (Burton & Carey, 2002, p. 30). This general conclusion is in need of further specification to identify the elements of the coverage that are accountable for such effects. Our study shows that the valence of news frames is an important element to consider and we also found that television news frames is capable of affecting public opinion. Our study is merely a first step towards disentangling the different types of news frames and their differential effects on several dependent measures. More work is needed on the classification and nature of frames and their implications. The study has a number of shortcomings that should be acknowledged. First, the cross-national perspective applied in the content analysis is in need of extension and sophistication. Including more countries

Authors: De Vreese, Claes. and Boomgaarden, Hajo.
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RUNNING HEAD: Valenced news frames and public support for the EU
17
negative evaluation of the issue at stake. This presents a new, and considering the impact of
valenced frames as outlined below, notable contribution to framing analysis.
Based on the findings of the content analysis, we investigated the impact of valenced
frames on participants’ policy support. We expected advantageous framing to positively
contribute to participants’ policy support, in contrast to disadvantageous framing that was
expected to have a negative effect on support for the EU and EU enlargement. The
experiment revealed significant effects on the four dependent variables in the expected
direction. Specifically, we found that exposure to a disadvantageous framing of the summit
contributed to a more negative evaluation of the enlargement and less support for the EU,
relative to exposure to an advantageous framing of the event.
These results confirm the hypotheses that valenced frames indeed have a capacity to
affect policy support. This is particularly important, as earlier research has shown that frames
not carrying an inherent valence do have effects on issue interpretation and political cynicism,
however, not on policy support (AUTHOR, 2002). Thereby it is implied that valenced frames
are more powerful in influencing public support of certain policy issues than un-valenced
media frames. The impact of valenced framing on support of EU policy is important to
consider in the process of public opinion formation about further European integration.
Recently, Burton and Carey (2002) investigated the influence of the British press in shaping
public opinion towards the European Union in general and towards the euro in particular.
They conclude that “Britain’s highly partisan and bias press do indeed have an influence on
the attitudes of their readers towards the EU and towards the possibility of Britain entering the
Single European Currency” (Burton & Carey, 2002, p. 30). This general conclusion is in need
of further specification to identify the elements of the coverage that are accountable for such
effects. Our study shows that the valence of news frames is an important element to consider
and we also found that television news frames is capable of affecting public opinion.
Our study is merely a first step towards disentangling the different types of news
frames and their differential effects on several dependent measures. More work is needed on
the classification and nature of frames and their implications. The study has a number of
shortcomings that should be acknowledged. First, the cross-national perspective applied in
the content analysis is in need of extension and sophistication. Including more countries


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