Author(s): Zhongdang Pan, Gerald M Kosicki
In the American political process, news discourse concerning public policy issues is carefully constructed. This occurs in part because both politicians and interest groups take an increasingly proactive approach to amplify their views of what an issue is about However, news media also play an active role in framing public policy issues. Thus, in this article, news discourse is conceived as a sociocognitive process involving all three players: sources, journalists, and audience members operating in the universe of shared culture and on the basis of socially defined roles. Framing analysis is presented as a constructivist approach to examine news discourse with the primary focus on conceptualizing news texts into empirically operationalizable dimensions—syntactical, script, thematic, and rhetorical structures—so that evidence of the news media's framing of issues in news texts may be gathered. This is considered an initial step toward analyzing the news discourse process as a whole. Finally, an extended empirical example is provided to illustrate the applications of this conceptual framework of news texts.