Between Silence and Salience. A Multimethod Model to Study Frame Building from a Journalistic Perspective

J.L.J. Boesman, B. Van Gorp, L. d'Haenens

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Research into frame building, which aims to investigate the development of news framing in the journalistic realm, is on the rise. While most frame-building studies focus on the relative contribution of journalists or sources to news frames, this article presents and evaluates an integrated methodological model. The model is based on constructionist premises with the purpose of examining how frames are created as part of the interaction among reporters, editors, and sources. Based on a review of the methodologies used in earlier frame-building studies, we propose an ethnographic four-phase model in which multiple methods are interwoven: newsroom observations, reconstruction interviews, and frame analyses of news products (which illustrate what is made salient) as well as production documents (which also reveal what is silenced). The model is illustrated with two multisited studies in newspaper newsrooms: an interview-based study of the news reports of preselected journalists and an observation-based study for which the news reports to be analyzed were selected based on their salience in newsroom meetings. Through this multimethod model, this paper offers some guidelines for the study of frame building from a journalistic perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-247
JournalCommunication Methods and Measures
Issue number4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Oct 2016


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