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Wednesday, July 29 • 15:16 - 16:45
"The effect of social media on frame building: studies of journalistic practices"

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Authors: Juana Du and Hongzhong Zhang

Framing has grown into a thriving approach to control the way journalists frame issues and events. Research on framing journalism is less well developed. In particular, journalists’ contributions to frame building in the news deserve further analysis, as framing journalism provides an essential basis for the ethical practice of journalism in a global media era (China Media Research. 2013; 9(2): 71-82). 

This study discusses how social media impacts journalistic framing practices. In particular, it examines the effects of usage of social media on both social and professional routines of journalists and how social media would impact journalists to frame their reports. This study extends current framing research to journalistic practices, which is an area hasn’t been sufficiently explored ((Scheufele & Scheufele, 2010). It provides first-hand empirical data to study news framing of journalists in Chinese cultural context. 

This study is based on a survey of journalists working for media in China. In total, 818 questionnaires were collected. A stratified sampling is adopted and the journalists participated in this survey came from seven cities from 4 provinces and 3 municipals directly under the central government. These cities including: Beijing, Chongqing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Fuzhou, Chengdu and Nanjing. These cities covered North, Northeast, Central, West and Southwest China. Journalists working with both daily reports and evening reports are chosen from each city. The data collection started from June to July 2014. 

Using SPSS to conduct MANOVA analysis examining professional media usage and social media usage as covariates, news framing strategies (positive, negative or ambiguous) as dependant variables, 
it showed a significant multivariate effect for news framing strategies as a group in relation to social media usage (p<.01) and professional media usage (p<.01). Univariate analyses for the effect of professional media usage significant predicted responses related to news framing strategies (p<.001), with responses significantly more positive for positive strategies than negative strategies and ambiguous strategies; Univariate analyses for the effect of social media usage significant predicted responses related to news framing strategies (p<.01), with responses significantly more positive for positive strategies and ambiguous strategies than negative strategies. However, it found no significant association between media usage as a group and need for journalists (need for evaluation vs. need for cognition). Findings also revealed significant associations between media framing strategies and years of working in current years, while no significant associations tested between media framing strategies and other independent variables including the age of journalist, education background, overseas working experiences and types of media. These findings suggest that the usage of social media and professional media in journalistic framing deserves more research attention. The results also have implications for journalism practitioners. 


Juana Du

Assistant Professor, RRU

Hongzhong Zhang

Beijing Normal University China

Wednesday July 29, 2015 15:16 - 16:45
(7th Floor) Room TRS1-129 (Ted Rogers School of Management) 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C3

Attendees (8)