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Framing in the ‘New Media Environment’: Fox News Channel (FNC) Covers the Bristol Palin Pregnancy
Unformatted Document Text:  exemplar of what Jamieson and Capella (2008) describe as the ideologically-specific ‘opinion media,’ which includes the Wall Street Journal’s opinion-editorial page, the Rush Limbaugh radio show and Web site, the Washington Times, and FNC shows, including Hannity & Colmes and Special Report With Brit Hume. 1 In the following sections, we describe the historical frame for teen pregnancy developed during the Reagan era and the alternative ‘pro-life’ frame the FNC panelists constructed on the air during the 2008 Republican National Convention in regard to Bristol Palin’s pregnancy. This is followed by a discussion of the historical shift in the framing process from the period of ‘centered,’ or functionalist, media to the ‘de-centered’ or ‘fragmented’ media landscape (Couldry, 2003a). These two periods are discussed in terms of the social continuity promised by the “centered” relationship of mass media to government and elite mainstream sources, where media framing has been traditionally theorized as producing cohesive social meanings, versus the individuated and discontinuous agendas of the opinion media (Elliot, 1982; Entman, 1993, 2010; Ettema, 1990; Hallin, 1986; Schudson, 2002). 2 In conceptualizing framing in the second period, we theorize FNC’s use of framing in this case as exemplary of a de-centered framing process not connected to mainstream cultural or historical themes, but operating on what Couldry (2003a) calls ‘local’ terms. Following a discussion of our methodology, we analyze and draw conclusions about these framing processes

Authors: Durham, Frank.
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exemplar of what Jamieson and Capella (2008) describe as the ideologically-specific ‘opinion 
media,’ which includes the Wall Street Journal’s opinion-editorial page, the Rush Limbaugh 
radio show and Web site, the Washington Times, and FNC shows, including Hannity & Colmes 
and Special Report With Brit Hume.
In the following sections, we describe the historical frame for teen pregnancy developed 
during the Reagan era and the alternative ‘pro-life’ frame the FNC panelists constructed on the 
air during the 2008 Republican National Convention in regard to Bristol Palin’s pregnancy. This 
is followed by a discussion of the historical shift in the framing process from the period of 
‘centered,’ or functionalist, media to the ‘de-centered’ or ‘fragmented’ media landscape (Couldry, 
2003a). These two periods are discussed in terms of the social continuity promised by the 
“centered” relationship of mass media to government and elite mainstream sources, where media 
framing has been traditionally theorized as producing cohesive social meanings, versus the 
individuated and discontinuous agendas of the opinion media (Elliot, 1982; Entman, 1993, 2010; 
Ettema, 1990; Hallin, 1986; Schudson, 2002).
In conceptualizing framing in the second period, we theorize FNC’s use of framing in this 
case as exemplary of a de-centered framing process not connected to mainstream cultural or 
historical themes, but operating on what Couldry (2003a) calls ‘local’ terms. Following a 
discussion of our methodology, we analyze and draw conclusions about these framing processes 


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