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Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1 Concepts in media studies: framing, agenda setting and media effects Media, politics.

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Presentation on theme: "Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1 Concepts in media studies: framing, agenda setting and media effects Media, politics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1 Concepts in media studies: framing, agenda setting and media effects Media, politics and the environment Lecture 2, Feb 1, 2012 Miklos Sukosd

2 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong Structure of presentation 1. Agenda setting by the media 2. Criticism of the agenda setting approach 3. Framing in the media: the concept 4. Framing in the media: a case (urbanization in former farmland) 5. Questions regarding environmental journalism 6. Research project: environmental agenda setting and framing by Hong Kong media 2

3 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong Agenda setting What the media present: salience of issues, topics, topic areas in media and audience perception Causal relationship from media agenda to public agenda (audience cognition/perception) Case 1: Lonely people (few interpersonal contacts) follow political agenda more – stronger agenda setting role of the media Case 2: Classic Iowa referendum study: counties with newspaper and citizens’ committee: significantly different voting patterns, self-interest effect is reinforced by agenda setting 3

4 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong Environmental agendas in Hong Kong media and public opinion 1. Air pollution (including urban and marine traffic, factories in mainland) 2. Waste (including communal and e-waste) 3. Water pollution and sources (sea, drinking water, underground water tables) 4. Nature conservation (NT, Lamma, Lantau, Cheung Chau) 5. Food safety (HK relies on food imports) 4

5 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong Environmental agendas in Hong Kong media and public opinion (cont.) 6. Noise pollution (leads to stress; 1 million people affected by excess traffic noise; add construction work and AC/ventillation noise) 7. Light pollution (affects human lives, ecosystem, energy consumption) +8. Climate change and global warming (public concerns, disappointment with government) +9. Global population growth (leads to resource depletion; HK policy/political debates about immigration: mainland migrants, foreign domestic helpers 5

6 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong Criticism of agenda setting model Roots of media agenda are missing: policy (legislative), political, public (civic, NGO, citizen) agendas Methodological problems - Content analysis and polling - How many media sources? Research opportunities: International comparative research project regarding environmental in several countries Longitudinal research opportunities (long term media agendas) 6

7 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong Framing by media How to present/cover? The mode of coverage. Missing aspect of the “objectivity approach” Each article about the same topic or story is different (journalists often call it “angles”) Framing key features: selection and salience Select some aspects of reality and make them salient; omit or lessen salience of other aspects Influence over human consciousness by communication of information/text 7

8 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 8 Frames - Promote particular problem definition (define problems) - Causal interpretation (diagnose causes) - Moral evaluation (make moral judgements) -Treatment recommendation (suggest remedies) Frames by/in - Communicators (sources, journalists) - Text - Receivers - Cultural context

9 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 9 Framing case: Urbanization project in agricultural areas or suburbs Background: legal re-classification of agricultural lands for housing development (China: forced evictions) 1. Development/progress frame - Working opportunities subframe - Local infrastructure development subframe - China: national/regional/local economic growth 2. Critical democratic frame - Who decided and how? Transparency of decision subframe - Whose interest? subframe

10 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong Environmental frame - Peaceful conditions subframe - Ecological subframe - Environmental legal subframe 4. Real estate frame - Prices/markets for buyers subframe - Real estate trends and investment for professionals subframe Framing power: cultural capital + financial power Framing wars: conflicting and mutually exclusive frames (politicians; states in international conflict) Framing coalitions: agreement on larger frames Masterframes: incorporating elements of frames

11 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong Questions regarding environmental journalism about agenda setting and framing How relevant are these concepts for journalists and editors? How free are journalists to - set environmental agendas with their story? - select or define the frames of their story? Can stories exist without frames? 11

12 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong Environmental frames in the media As an environmental problem As an environmental policy/political issue As a historical trend As a health issue As an issue of environmental activism As an educational issue As a matter of public attitudes As an emotional issue (humans or animals) Other frames? 12

13 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong Research project: environmental agenda setting and framing by Hong Kong media 1. List of all Hong Kong media - Traditional media: television, radio, print press, online news portals - Social media: Facebook, Weibo, Twitter, YouTube, online discussion forums etc. 2. Conduct content analysis 3. Conduct framing analysis 4. Conduct public opinion polls to measure public perceptions of environmental issues 5. Compare media coverage and public perceptions to establish agenda setting and framing effects 13


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