Sumaya Al Nahed & Philip Hammond
Respondents: Robert Entman & Curd B. Knupfer
This special issue of Media, War and Conflict focusing on framing analysis aims to assess the strengths and weaknesses of framing as a method for analysing contemporary war coverage, and to clarify how and why the method has been refined and modified over the years.
In the years since Robert Entman’s seminal 1993 essay sought to ‘constitute framing as a research paradigm’ for the field of communication, framing analysis has been widely taken up as a key method for investigating news coverage of war and conflict. Yet the development and increasing use of framing analysis has been neither straightforward nor unquestioned. For example, despite its extensive use there are still no settled and standardised rules for operationalising the method, so that in practice individual framing analyses sometimes differ sharply in their procedures, emphases and assumptions. Some critics have argued that most framing research places too much emphasis on the agency of individual actors, at the expense of considering more structural and organisational factors; others have wondered whether claims about the framing of events are worth making at all, if they depend on researchers stripping away the complex media ecology in which texts actually circulate. One might also legitimately ask, particularly in relation to the specific field of war and conflict, how far contemporary framing analysis still helps us, as Entman advocated, to understand the ways that news discourse bears the ‘imprint of power’.
We seek to bring together articles which exemplify and/or assess the range of ways in which framing analysis has been deployed, including more challenging or novel applications such as visual framing, online news or social media. Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:
- Big Data and framing analysis
- frames vs. scripts
- framing analysis and social media
- framing and audience research
- institutionalised frames and professional routines
- linguistic and cultural differences in news framing
- political power and framing research
- quantitative and qualitative dimensions of framing analysis
- subjectivity in framing research
- textual framing and contextual meaning
Robert Entman (George Washington University) and Curd B. Knupfer (Free University of Berlin) will act as ‘respondents’ for the special issue, writing a concluding essay in response to the contributions that are accepted for publication.
Media, War & Conflict operates a strictly blinded peer review process in which reviewers’ names are withheld from authors, and authors’ names from reviewers. Reviewers may, at their own discretion, opt to reveal their name to the author in their review but the journal’s standard policy practice is for both identities to remain concealed. Longer articles should be approximately 7,000 words and shorter articles 5,000 words. Submissions will be refereed by anonymous reviewers. All articles should be accompanied by an abstract of 150 words and up to 6 keywords. The journal uses the Harvard system of referencing with the author’s name and date in the text, and a full reference list in alphabetical order at the end of the article.