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Merging content analysis and the policy sciences: A system to discern policy-specific trends from news media reports

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Author Info

  • Dave Howland

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  • Mimi Becker
  • Lawrence Prelli
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    Abstract

    In this article we set out to bridge a surprising methodological gap between two time-honored research traditions – news media content analysis and the policy sciences analytic framework. Lasswell, a recognized pioneer of both the method and the framework, discussed the mutual benefits of each decades ago. But few researchers, if any, have formally linked the two. To that end, in this article we (1) make the case for using news media content analysis to inform research studies using the policy sciences analytic framework; (2) introduce an original content analysis categorical system for that purpose; (3) demonstrate that system with a study of 90 national news articles about the stratospheric ozone hole; and (4) compare our system to others used to examine news content. We report that our system, used by human coders, is well geared to describing and mapping trends in the social process surrounding the development of the Montreal Protocol ozone treaty during the intelligence gathering and promotion phases encompassed by our data sample. We argue that other content analysis systems fall short – in structure and purpose – of meeting the promise ours holds to the policy scientist. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11077-006-9016-5
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Policy Sciences.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 205-231

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:39:y:2006:i:3:p:205-231

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102982

    Related research

    Keywords: News media; Montreal Protocol; Policy sciences; Content analysis; Environmental policy; Ozone hole;

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    Cited by:
    1. Elizabeth Shanahan & Mark McBeth & Paul Hathaway & Ruth Arnell, 2008. "Conduit or contributor? The role of media in policy change theory," Policy Sciences, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 115-138, June.
    2. David Mattson & Susan Clark, 2012. "The discourses of incidents: cougars on Mt. Elden and in Sabino Canyon, Arizona," Policy Sciences, Springer, vol. 45(4), pages 315-343, December.
    3. Ryane Straus, 2011. "Citizens’ use of policy symbols and frames," Policy Sciences, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 13-34, March.
    4. Michael Gruszczynski & Sarah Michaels, 2012. "The evolution of elite framing following enactment of legislation," Policy Sciences, Springer, vol. 45(4), pages 359-384, December.
    5. Paul Mkandawire & Isaac Luginaah & Rachel Bezner-Kerr, 2011. "Deadly divide: Malawi’s policy debate on HIV/AIDS and condoms," Policy Sciences, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 81-102, March.

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