Framing Theory

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According to Entman, “to frame is to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment recommendation”(1993, p. 52). Entman’s definition of framing is one of many that currently exist, but is also one that is widely accepted. Framing theory implies that the way an issue is presented (the “frame”) influences the choices people make. De Vreese (2005) puts forward the point that by framing events and issues in particular ways, the media may shape public opinion, an idea supported by Mechanic (2005) who says much of today’s media are influenced by interests that shape readers of communication…show more content…
According to de Vreese (2005), “the notion of framing has gained momentum in the communication disciplines, giving guidance to both investigations of media content and to studies of the relationship between media and public opinion.” (2005, p 51) Likewise, Chong and Druckman (2007), advance the view that during the last ten years, identifying frames in communication “– that is, the key considerations emphasized in a speech act – has become a virtual cottage industry. Scholars track frames to identify trends in issue definitions, compare coverage across media outlets, and examine variations across types of media.”…show more content…
A communication frame “organizes everyday reality” (Tuchman 1978, p.193) and helps readers of a communication text make meaning of a story through the four-stage process of frame-building, frame-setting and resulting individual and societal level consequences of framing (De Vreese, 2005). Frame-building involves the construction and use of media frames by journalists, which according to Shoemaker & Reese, (1996) is based on journalistic routines, organizational pressures and constraints, social norms and values, pressure from interest groups or the ideological or political leanings of the journalist. The journalist usually has the least influence on frames. Culture and ideology are typically the most powerful influences that quite subtly, if not easily, exert their weight on frames. They are generally more difficult to surmount, compared to personal prejudices (Shoemaker & Reese, 1996). Frame-setting as labeled by Scheufele (2000), “is concerned with the salience of issue attributes” (p.116). It explores the relationship between media frames and their effects on an individual’s learning, interpretation, and evaluation of issues and events (de Vreese
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