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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 2 Introduction A growing amount of research has addressed antecedents of public perceptions of and attitudes towards European integration. Explanations have been sought in party identification, political values, economic expectations, and cost-benefit considerations (e.g. Gabel, 1998, Hewstone, 1986, Inglehart, 1990). However, extant research has – with few exceptions (e.g., Banducci, Karp, & Lauf, 2002; Norris, 2000; AUTHOR, 2002) – been largely negligent of the effects of media on support for further integration. This seems surprising given that television and newspapers are repeatedly named by Europeans as their most important source of political information (Eurobarometer, 51-56). Drawing on framing theory, initial investigations have analyzed the portrayal of the EU in news media. In a content analysis of print and television news, Semetko and Valkenburg (2000) found that stories about Europe were most frequently framed in terms of attribution of responsibility, economic consequences, and conflict. In a comparative analysis of news about the launch of the euro in four European countries, de Vreese, Peter, and Semetko (2001) found the conflict frame to dominate economic and political news in general. News specifically dealing with the introduction of the euro was more frequently framed in terms of economic consequences. Investigating the effects of such news frames on readers’ thoughts and recall, Valkenburg, Semetko, and de Vreese (1999) found that reading a news article about the introduction of the euro led participants to utilize the news frame in their subsequent thoughts. In fact, AUTHOR (2002) found that a news frame can be as important to audiences when conceiving of political issues as the core informational facts in a news story which suggests that news frames are an important resource to citizens when thinking about European issues. While the studies above and other framing studies show that media and in particular the news have the ability to provide a template for audiences’ understanding of political issues, only little attention has been devoted to the nature of news frames. Frames are not merely different ways of telling a news story. Frames may cause changes in public opinion by inviting certain definitions and interpretations of political issues. Entman (1993) suggests that frames promote a ‘moral evaluation’ and Tewksbury, Jones, Peske, Raymond, and Vig (2000, p. 804) argue that “frames can imply policy options or implicit answers to questions of what

Authors: De Vreese, Claes. and Boomgaarden, Hajo.
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RUNNING HEAD: Valenced news frames and public support for the EU
2
Introduction
A growing amount of research has addressed antecedents of public perceptions of
and attitudes towards European integration. Explanations have been sought in party
identification, political values, economic expectations, and cost-benefit considerations (e.g.
Gabel, 1998, Hewstone, 1986, Inglehart, 1990). However, extant research has – with few
exceptions (e.g., Banducci, Karp, & Lauf, 2002; Norris, 2000; AUTHOR, 2002) – been largely
negligent of the effects of media on support for further integration. This seems surprising
given that television and newspapers are repeatedly named by Europeans as their most
important source of political information (Eurobarometer, 51-56).
Drawing on framing theory, initial investigations have analyzed the portrayal of the EU
in news media. In a content analysis of print and television news, Semetko and Valkenburg
(2000) found that stories about Europe were most frequently framed in terms of attribution of
responsibility, economic consequences, and conflict. In a comparative analysis of news about
the launch of the euro in four European countries, de Vreese, Peter, and Semetko (2001)
found the conflict frame to dominate economic and political news in general. News specifically
dealing with the introduction of the euro was more frequently framed in terms of economic
consequences. Investigating the effects of such news frames on readers’ thoughts and recall,
Valkenburg, Semetko, and de Vreese (1999) found that reading a news article about the
introduction of the euro led participants to utilize the news frame in their subsequent thoughts.
In fact, AUTHOR (2002) found that a news frame can be as important to audiences when
conceiving of political issues as the core informational facts in a news story which suggests
that news frames are an important resource to citizens when thinking about European issues.
While the studies above and other framing studies show that media and in particular
the news have the ability to provide a template for audiences’ understanding of political
issues, only little attention has been devoted to the nature of news frames. Frames are not
merely different ways of telling a news story. Frames may cause changes in public opinion by
inviting certain definitions and interpretations of political issues. Entman (1993) suggests that
frames promote a ‘moral evaluation’ and Tewksbury, Jones, Peske, Raymond, and Vig (2000,
p. 804) argue that “frames can imply policy options or implicit answers to questions of what


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