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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 7 First we establish a baseline of the amount of news coverage devoted to the summit. Based on previous research (e.g., Norris, 2000), we hypothesize that the broadsheet press and public broadcasting news programs will cover the summit more extensively than the tabloid press and commercial television news programs: Hypothesis 1: The visibility of EU news in more serious news outlets (broadsheets and public broadcasting news programs) is higher than in more sensationalistic oriented outlets (tabloids and commercial news programs). We secondly pose a research question investigating whether news about the summit is primarily framed in positive or negative terms, that is, in terms of advantages or disadvantages of the consequences of the summit. Research question: Is the framing of the summit in newspapers and television news positive, neutral or negative? Previous framing studies have found that media frames may indeed have an effect on individuals’ attitudes (Entman, 1993; Pan & Kosicki, 1993). Nelson and Oxley (1999) and Tewksbury et al. (2000) specifically found that exposure to news frames with an inherent valence affected public support for political issues such as agriculture regulation and land development. A set of hypotheses is therefore cautiously formulated: Hypothesis 2a: Exposure to news framed in terms of advantages has a positive effect on support for the EU and enlargement of the EU. Hypothesis 2b: Exposure to news framed in terms of disadvantages has a negative effect on support for the EU and enlargement of the EU. Method To investigate the presence and effects of valenced news frames a multi-method study involving a content analysis of news media coverage and a controlled experiment investigating the effects of the coverage was designed. Content Analysis Country sample. The content analysis was carried out in Britain, Germany, and the Netherlands. These three countries represent variation in terms of size and aggregate-level

Authors: De Vreese, Claes. and Boomgaarden, Hajo.
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RUNNING HEAD: Valenced news frames and public support for the EU
7
First we establish a baseline of the amount of news coverage devoted to the summit.
Based on previous research (e.g., Norris, 2000), we hypothesize that the broadsheet press
and public broadcasting news programs will cover the summit more extensively than the
tabloid press and commercial television news programs:
Hypothesis 1: The visibility of EU news in more serious news outlets (broadsheets
and public broadcasting news programs) is higher than in more sensationalistic oriented
outlets (tabloids and commercial news programs).
We secondly pose a research question investigating whether news about the summit
is primarily framed in positive or negative terms, that is, in terms of advantages or
disadvantages of the consequences of the summit.
Research question: Is the framing of the summit in newspapers and television news
positive, neutral or negative?
Previous framing studies have found that media frames may indeed have an effect on
individuals’ attitudes (Entman, 1993; Pan & Kosicki, 1993). Nelson and Oxley (1999) and
Tewksbury et al. (2000) specifically found that exposure to news frames with an inherent
valence affected public support for political issues such as agriculture regulation and land
development. A set of hypotheses is therefore cautiously formulated:
Hypothesis 2a: Exposure to news framed in terms of advantages has a positive effect
on support for the EU and enlargement of the EU.
Hypothesis 2b: Exposure to news framed in terms of disadvantages has a negative
effect on support for the EU and enlargement of the EU.
Method
To investigate the presence and effects of valenced news frames a multi-method
study involving a content analysis of news media coverage and a controlled experiment
investigating the effects of the coverage was designed.
Content Analysis
Country sample. The content analysis was carried out in Britain, Germany, and the
Netherlands. These three countries represent variation in terms of size and aggregate-level


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