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Library and Information Science Paper (ID LIS065083)

Yuko MATSUBA, Shuichi UEDA
Episodic Frame and Thematic Frame in Television News and Newspapers: An Analysis of the Coverage of General Elections in Japan
No.65, p.83-107
Issue date

Purpose: Despite the rise of the Internet, both television and newspapers still play major roles as news media. This paper clarifies the differences between television and newspapers as news media during the period of a general election campaign in Japan.

Methods: News stories reporting on the election of The House of Representatives of Japan were analyzed using episodic or thematic news frames (Iyengar 1991). News was categorized according to the type of news and the type of frame.

Results: News programs on television (NHK and five commercial broadcast stations) broadcast 172 news stories during the 2009 election campaign (from 18 August 2009 to 1 September 2009). There were 386 news items in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper related to the election during the same period. The amount of coverage was large at both the beginning and the end of the election campaign. Television and newspapers showed similar tendencies. Moreover, no changes were observed between 2005 and 2009. Television news was composed of equal amounts of general news and featured news, while featured news accounted for about 80% of the news in the newspaper. On television, there were many episodic frames mainly portraying individuals involved in the election campaign. A large majority of newspaper coverage, however, dealt with theme frames.

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