Implicit media frames: Automated analysis of public debate on artificial sweeteners

I. Hellsten, J. Dawson, L. Leydesdorff

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The framing of issues in the mass media plays a crucial role in the public understanding of science and technology. This article contributes to research concerned with the analysis of media frames over time by making an analytical distinction between implicit and explicit media frames, and by introducing an automated method for the analysis of implicit frames. In particular, we apply a semantic maps method to a case study on the newspaper debate about artificial sweeteners, published in the New York Times between 1980 and 2006. Our results show that the analysis of semantic changes enables us to filter out the dynamics of implicit frames, and to detect emerging metaphors in public debates. Theoretically, we discuss the relation between implicit frames in public debates and the codification of meaning and information in scientific discourses, and suggest further avenues for research interested in the automated analysis of frame changes and trends in public debates. © The Author(s), 2010.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-608
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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