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The Impact of Contradicting Media Messages on Political Perceptions: The Case of a Partisan Dispute in Korea over Lifting Ban on U.S. Beef Imports
Unformatted Document Text:  THE IMPACT OF CONFLICTING FRAMES 4 clashes between different types of media outlets with contradicting frames will shed more light on determining the relative importance of each type of media outlets in shaping public opinion in a complex and competitive media environment. In this regard, a major partisan dispute in Korea over a trade policy between different types of media outlets serves as a natural experiment setting to study the impact of opposing frames on popular political evaluations. To elaborate the case, in late April 2008, the Korean government announced a renewed agreement with the U.S. to resume the imports of U.S. beef regardless of the age of cattle. Soon after the announcement, a television investigative news program reported that the beef from cattle over 30 months of age is more likely to cause the fatal human form of mad cow disease, or variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). This sparked public outcry over the safety of the beef, which evolved into a series of massive candlelight vigils with hundreds of thousands of protestors . In the meantime, partisan battles erupted between various sectors of society, especially between liberal and conservative media. It is reported that newspapers, dominated by conservative and pro-government newspaper companies, defended the conservative government by downplaying the significance of the issue and arguing the safety of the kind of beef , whereas television news stories mostly denounced the government, highlighting the fatality of health risks posed by the kind of beef . Sharp contrasts were found between the opposing media factions in terms of the coverage about almost every aspect of the issue such as the timing of the resumption, quarantine sovereignty, extra safety measures, and so on . With regard to this, Kim and Hur empirically demonstrate that the two types of media outlets were indeed contradicting each other: the frames of television highlighted pervasive and fatal consequences of the mad cow

Authors: Lee, ByungGu.
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THE IMPACT OF CONFLICTING FRAMES   
      4
clashes between different types of media outlets with contradicting frames will shed more light 
on determining the relative importance of each type of media outlets in shaping public opinion in 
a complex and competitive media environment. 
In this regard, a major partisan dispute in Korea over a trade policy between different 
types of media outlets serves as a natural experiment setting to study the impact of opposing 
frames on popular political evaluations. To elaborate the case, in late April 2008, the Korean 
government announced a renewed agreement with the U.S. to resume the imports of U.S. beef 
regardless of the age of cattle. Soon after the announcement, a television investigative news 
program reported that the beef from cattle over 30 months of age is more likely to cause the fatal 
human form of mad cow disease, or variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). This sparked 
public outcry over the safety of the beef, which evolved into a series of massive candlelight 
vigils with hundreds of thousands of protestors . 
In the meantime, partisan battles erupted between various sectors of society, especially 
between liberal and conservative media. It is reported that newspapers, dominated by 
conservative and pro-government newspaper companies, defended the conservative government 
by downplaying the significance of the issue and arguing the safety of the kind of beef , whereas 
television news stories mostly denounced the government, highlighting the fatality of health risks 
posed by the kind of beef . Sharp contrasts were found between the opposing media factions in 
terms of the coverage about almost every aspect of the issue such as the timing of the 
resumption, quarantine sovereignty, extra safety measures, and so on . With regard to this, Kim 
and Hur  empirically demonstrate that the two types of media outlets were indeed contradicting 
each other: the frames of television highlighted pervasive and fatal consequences of the mad cow 


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