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From the 'Battle of Seattle' to the 'War on Terrorism' in The New York Times
Unformatted Document Text:  From the ‘Battle of Seattle’ to the ‘War on Terrorism’ 3 3 scale social dissent have been framed in this elite newspaper’s coverage and how such frames have developed over time. The three-year period of the study includes the political and cultural aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks, which may have sparked a crackdown on public activities or expressions that are critical of the status quo. The News Framing Process Landmark studies by sociologists Gaye Tuchman (1978) and Todd Gitlin (1980) of the women’s movement and anti-war movement, respectively, investigated the processes through which media contain dissent and support the status quo. Their research drew upon the concept of cognitive schemata called frames (Goffman, 1974), which Gitlin defined as “persistent patterns of cognition, interpretation and presentation, of selection, emphasis and exclusion, by which symbol-handlers routinely organize discourse” (1980, 7). Unavoidable and often unacknowledged, news frames are the “windows” produced by journalists that offer audiences both a limited view of the real world as well as cues for understanding that world. As journalists select, gather and report the news, they search for existing templates to guide the assembly of facts, quotations and other elements in a story. These frames, embedded in the texts that journalism produces, then orient public interpretations of events such as social protests. Framing-related research has shown consistently that the media, to some degree, delegitimate movements for change and reinforce the social order (Murdock, 1973; Tuchman, 1978; Gitlin, 1980; Chan & Lee, 1984; Strodthoff, Hawkins and Schoenfeld,1985; McLeod & Hertog, 1992; Van Zoonen, 1992; Hertog and McLeod, 1995; McLeod, 1995; Wittebols, 1996; Akhavan-Majid & Ramaprasad, 2000; Kim, 2000; Lule, 2001). Critical scholars have documented that through the routines of news production—usually without the conscious

Authors: Rauch, Jennifer., Chitrapu, Sunitha., Evans, John., Mwesige, Peter., Paine, Christopher. and Eastman, Susan.
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From the ‘Battle of Seattle’ to the ‘War on Terrorism’ 3
3
scale social dissent have been framed in this elite newspaper’s coverage and how such frames
have developed over time. The three-year period of the study includes the political and cultural
aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks, which may have sparked a crackdown on public
activities or expressions that are critical of the status quo.
The News Framing Process
Landmark studies by sociologists Gaye Tuchman (1978) and Todd Gitlin (1980) of the
women’s movement and anti-war movement, respectively, investigated the processes through
which media contain dissent and support the status quo. Their research drew upon the concept of
cognitive schemata called frames (Goffman, 1974), which Gitlin defined as “persistent patterns
of cognition, interpretation and presentation, of selection, emphasis and exclusion, by which
symbol-handlers routinely organize discourse” (1980, 7). Unavoidable and often
unacknowledged, news frames are the “windows” produced by journalists that offer audiences
both a limited view of the real world as well as cues for understanding that world. As journalists
select, gather and report the news, they search for existing templates to guide the assembly of
facts, quotations and other elements in a story. These frames, embedded in the texts that
journalism produces, then orient public interpretations of events such as social protests.
Framing-related research has shown consistently that the media, to some degree,
delegitimate movements for change and reinforce the social order (Murdock, 1973; Tuchman,
1978; Gitlin, 1980; Chan & Lee, 1984; Strodthoff, Hawkins and Schoenfeld,1985; McLeod &
Hertog, 1992; Van Zoonen, 1992; Hertog and McLeod, 1995; McLeod, 1995; Wittebols, 1996;
Akhavan-Majid & Ramaprasad, 2000; Kim, 2000; Lule, 2001). Critical scholars have
documented that through the routines of news production—usually without the conscious


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