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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 3 should be done about an issue.” This goes beyond stressing different aspects of an issue and additionally suggests that frames may have normative implications. The latter studies imply that frames oftentimes have inherent valence by suggesting, for example, positive or negative aspects, solutions, or treatments. Given this valence, news frames can be expected to influence public support for various policy measures. Only few framing studies in political communication have investigated the appearance and effect of frames with an inherent valence, that is depicting an issue in clearly positive or negative terms. In other areas of communication research, such as health communication, the effects of framing issues in terms of good-bad or positive-negative dichotomies are well known (e.g., Rothman & Salovey, 1997). However, this still remains to be investigated in the context of mediated communication about political issues. Consequently the goal of this study is to examine the valence of certain frames in news reporting and to explore the degree to which this valuation in news frames affects public support. We chose as the context for this study one of the most significant developments in contemporary Europe: the enlargement of the European Union Valenced news frames The concept of framing has received an increasing amount of attention in the field of political communication. Studies show, for example, the influence of strategy-framed and issue-framed news on campaign interpretation (Rhee, 1997), the influence of news framing and individual values on political candidate choice (Domke, Shah, & Wackman, 1998), the effects of advocacy frames in the media on students’ support for local political issues (Tewksbury, Jones, Peske, Raymond, & Vig, 2000), and the impact of framing a civil liberty conflict on participants’ tolerance (Nelson, Clawson, & Oxley, 1997). Despite this growing amount of research, the concept of framing has not yet “settled on a core theory or even a basic set of propositions” (Hertog & McLeod, 2001, p. 139), and the nature of frames is insufficiently explicated. In framing research, a distinction is made between how news is presented, or framed, and how audiences comprehend and respond to these frames (Valkenburg et al., 1999). Gitlin (1980, p. 7) refers to framing as an instrument to “organize the world both for journalists who

Authors: De Vreese, Claes. and Boomgaarden, Hajo.
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RUNNING HEAD: Valenced news frames and public support for the EU
3
should be done about an issue.” This goes beyond stressing different aspects of an issue and
additionally suggests that frames may have normative implications.
The latter studies imply that frames oftentimes have inherent valence by suggesting,
for example, positive or negative aspects, solutions, or treatments. Given this valence, news
frames can be expected to influence public support for various policy measures. Only few
framing studies in political communication have investigated the appearance and effect of
frames with an inherent valence, that is depicting an issue in clearly positive or negative
terms. In other areas of communication research, such as health communication, the effects
of framing issues in terms of good-bad or positive-negative dichotomies are well known (e.g.,
Rothman & Salovey, 1997). However, this still remains to be investigated in the context of
mediated communication about political issues. Consequently the goal of this study is to
examine the valence of certain frames in news reporting and to explore the degree to which
this valuation in news frames affects public support. We chose as the context for this study
one of the most significant developments in contemporary Europe: the enlargement of the
European Union
Valenced news frames
The concept of framing has received an increasing amount of attention in the field of
political communication. Studies show, for example, the influence of strategy-framed and
issue-framed news on campaign interpretation (Rhee, 1997), the influence of news framing
and individual values on political candidate choice (Domke, Shah, & Wackman, 1998), the
effects of advocacy frames in the media on students’ support for local political issues
(Tewksbury, Jones, Peske, Raymond, & Vig, 2000), and the impact of framing a civil liberty
conflict on participants’ tolerance (Nelson, Clawson, & Oxley, 1997). Despite this growing
amount of research, the concept of framing has not yet “settled on a core theory or even a
basic set of propositions” (Hertog & McLeod, 2001, p. 139), and the nature of frames is
insufficiently explicated.
In framing research, a distinction is made between how news is presented, or framed,
and how audiences comprehend and respond to these frames (Valkenburg et al., 1999). Gitlin
(1980, p. 7) refers to framing as an instrument to “organize the world both for journalists who


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