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Same News, Different Stories : Framing, Valence and Journalistic Quality in US News Reporting on the Brett Kavanaugh Allegations

Hinternesch, Miriam (2019) Same News, Different Stories : Framing, Valence and Journalistic Quality in US News Reporting on the Brett Kavanaugh Allegations.

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Abstract:Public allegations of sexual misconduct have become a subject of controversy among US news media. Using framing techniques, news producers can narrate cases in contrasting ways, which biases public opinion. Therefore, this study investigates the usage of framing and valence, as well as journalistic quality, in news reporting on the 2018 sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 210 articles from CNN, Fox News and Reuters underwent content analysis, using a three-category, 19-item coding scheme. The results show a clear contrast in framing and valence between CNN and Fox News. While Fox News used frames to discredit the accuser and attached positive valence to Kavanaugh, CNN focused on the case’s partisan dimension, thereby displaying negative valence towards the nominee. Reuters remained neutral and used less framing overall, though scoring comparatively low in journalistic quality. In conclusion, the differences in framing and valence between the analyzed news outlets resulted in three rather contradictory depictions of the same case. Additionally, it is noteworthy how indicators of reporting quality may not assure neutrality. News consumers, specifically of CNN and Fox News, need to be vigilant about one-sided framing efforts and are advised to consult politically diverse news content.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies, 70 social sciences in general
Programme:Communication Studies BSc (56615)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/78256
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