Shanto Iyengar, professor of political science and communication studies at UCLA, has pioneered the research in the framing effects of news coverage on public opinion and political choice. He explains that viewers are "sensitive to contextual cues when they reason about national affairs. Their explanations of issues like terrorism or poverty are critically dependent upon the particular reference points furnished in media presentations."
The frames for a given story are seldom conscientiously chosen but represent instead the effort of the journalist or sponsor to convey a story in a direct and meaningful way. As such, news frames are frequently drawn from, and reflective of, shared cultural narratives and myths and resonate with the larger social themes to which journalists tend to be acutely sensitive.
The most outstanding issue affecting the social, economic and political dimensions of Bolivia's life is clearly the problem of the exportation of Bolivia's natural gas reserves....
This research will cover issues of the political system immediately following the emancipation of slaves on Barbados and will go on to examine Barbados’ becoming of a nation-state.
The question raised in this paper is, "Does the media present the news fairly, accurately, and completely?" The short answer is no, the long answer will be examined throughout the following essay....
Yellow journalism, the Nixon-Kennedy debates, and advocacy journalism (broadcasting) demonstrate that the influence the media have on government and public opinion.
1. Put youranalytical voice at the forefront throughout the essay. Emphasize yourinformed argument. The political theory essay is never just a research reportthat collects a number of quotations and strings them together; we want to seeevidence that you have done the appropriate reading that you are thinking independently and creatively about thetext.
2. Alwaysremember that the essay is an academic mode of discourse. Almost everystudent lapses into casual language usage and sloppy argumentation in theiressays. Do not use the kind of words, phrases and arguments that you would usein other contexts, such as e-mail, your personal journal, conversations withfriends, journalistic articles or an address to a political rally. In politicaltheory writing, the more you strike a thoughtful and scholarly tone, the moreyour reader will trust your judgment.
1. What changes in the political economy of the media have taken place according to Bennett and how have these changes undermined the credibility of the news? Should the public be concerned about these changes in relation to the vitality of the public sphere and democratic practices?
This review essay looks at how the media — particularly television news — shapes political attitudes and behavior. It examines the difference between "episodic" and "thematic" frames, the media's role as political "agenda-setter," the question of "establishment bias," the so-called objectivity ethic, the public's waning confidence in the press, the political consequences of news, and a handful of other questions that all of us — professional journalists and news consumers alike — need to think about and come to terms with in our increasingly news-obsessed and media-saturated culture. The piece was written in January 1993.
In the ever-expanding body of media effects research, relatively little attention has been paid to how news is framed, and still less has been written on the political consequences of media frames. A frame is the central organizing idea for making sense of relevant events and suggesting what is at issue. News and information has no intrinsic value unless embedded in a meaningful context which organizes and lends it coherence. News stories can be understood as narratives, which include information and factual elements, to be sure, but also carry an implicit message. The medium, in the case of news coverage, is the ultimate message. As James Britton writes:
Power in politics is a person who has the ability to influence a person in terms of their behaviour; however they possess no right to - unlike authority....
6. You should explorethe meaning of each text very carefully. If you are opposed to an argument,you must nevertheless recognize its strengths. By the same token, you mustindicate the weaknesses and contradictions in the texts that you happen tofavor. Any essay that fails to do this will miss the opportunity to engage inadvanced forms of interpretive work. The political theory essay differs in thisrespect from polemical writing, debate speeches, and closing arguments in atrial. If you agree with the text without carefully reconstructing itsposition, then your agreement will come too easily and you will fail to notethe text's own contradictions and weaknesses. If, by contrast, you criticizethe text without considering its strengths, you will be reducing the text to a"straw man" and engaging in a dismissive reading where subtle,detailed and sensitive commentary is required.