MeCCSA-PGN: UK media framing of the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Last week I have delivered my last conference presentation for this academic year and conference season. It’s been a busy year, recipe the MeCCSA paper being in fact my 4th for this year (after 2 in Vancouver and 1 in the US at the Power of Sport Summit). There are two more presentations scheduled for this October at the ECREA International Communications conference in Hamburg, pharmacist one focusing on the final results of my doctoral work and one discussing the twitter narratives surrounding the closing ceremony of the Vancouver Games on which I work in close collaboration with my PhD colleague Jennifer Jones.

Last week’s paper presented very fresh partial results of my doctoral work and revealed some the questions and discussion that emerge from them. During the presentation I wanted to emphasize 3 things:

  1. the novel research approach that brings together under the umbrella of framing theory the sources, the media and their public,
  2. the innovative methodological approach that bring together traditional qualitative analysis with new media tools to deliver word frequencies and keywords contexts among others and helps triangulate results,
  3. and the results obtained that show that British media outputs are not neutral and objective but rather contain moral judgement (more 80% of the 120 articles I coded use the “making moral judgement” function frame) and that the new media outputs analyzed fit the description of new media journalism (see Deuze, 2005) in less than 40% of the cases.

This last point brings plenty of questions about the value and purpose of journalism online and invites further research to explore the varied perceptions among journalists (traditional/citizen/community), public and organizations aiming to use media to communicate their messages. Moreover, it invites discussion about the neutrality of journalism texts and the differences in form and content. One argument I could make is that the form of the journalistic output could depict a balanced story, however the allocation of quotes, the order of sources in the economy of the story and the adjectives and metaphors accompanying them having the ability to change that balance.

Finally, when it comes to new media journalism practices and content, that in theory could be more multi-cultural, multi-angled, open-source, interactive, and collaborative, questions about how traditional media outlets (such as the ones I looked at Guardian, Telegraph and BBC) are using it arise. Judging that only 40% of the sample I looked at fits the description of new media journalism indicates that traditional media outlets do not use the internet and their online presences on their own websites very differently from their on paper/on screen outputs. It also indicates that the most of the stories uploaded are static, factual, time-bound (here and now) and allow little or no direct comment from users. So the question that arises from these results invites other questions that should be reflective about the future of journalism and its form.

More of this discussion will be elaborated in the discussion chapter of my doctoral dissertation.

[slideshare id=4770227&doc=framingthebeijingolympics-theukstory-100716042222-phpapp02]


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