Executive Summary

Professor Ted Coopman

RTVF 173

Drunken Monkeys

Spring 2008


Theory Description - Annotated Bibliographies - Executive SummaryPractical Applications - FrontPage 



            During our studies we discovered that framing is a commonly accepted theory amongst media theorists and therefore, studies focused less on proving the existence of the theory, and more on its effects. Other types of research focused on the popular types of framing within separate cultural and physical societies. The most widely used method of research was quantitative content analysis of newspapers and television shows of major media news organizations. Coding seemed the more difficult approach to the research as many times coders were given the option of two possible framing options, which is unlikely the reality of the various potential ways news stories can be framed. Because of the seemingly unlimited evidence and potential of framing our group focused in on framing within politics and political news coverage. This proved to be an excellent direction for our research as it clearly showed how two competing political parties would intentionally use framing to focus on their own agendas despite describing similar incidents. The ability to further a parties frame was also researched and it was determined that a political party in power has a huge advantage of furthering their agenda because the media gets a majority of their news from that party by way of the indexing model. Framing also succeeds based on the cultural resonance the frame contains (Entman, 2003). The more a culture can relate to the frame, the higher chance it will be accepted and propagated throughout that culture. Framing was also expanded beyond the simple definition of focusing on certain aspects of a situation to include four points; defining effects or conditions as problematic, identifying causes, conveying a moral judgment of those involved in the framed matter, and endorsing remedies or improvements to the problematic situation (Entman, 2003). We discovered that framing is an extension of the media‚Äôs agenda setting power, but where agenda setting allows media to choose what stories are the most important; framing allows the media additional power to skew how that story is told. Framing is an unavoidable effect of media communication but the public can combat it by merely being aware of its presence.