Title page for ETD etd-05142009-205217

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Maiorescu, Roxana
Author's Email Address roxanam@vt.edu
URN etd-05142009-205217
Title Framing Analysis of Kosovo Independence
Degree Master of Arts
Department Communication Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Tedesco, John C. Committee Chair
Ivory, James D. Committee Member
Sewell, Edward H. Jr. Committee Member
  • macro-frames
  • generic frames
  • framing
  • Kosovo independence
  • international media
Date of Defense 2009-05-06
Availability unrestricted
On February 17, 2008 Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia and the event spurred significant media attention. Countries like Spain, Romania, and Russia feared that the event would engender separatism on their own territories, while the U.S., Germany, France, Italy, and UK regarded it as a democratic step. This thesis uses the framing theory to content analyze newspaper articles in seven languages (N=191) that appeared between November 17, 2007 and May 17, 2008, three months before and three months after Kosovo became an independent state. The thesis uses the five generic frames (responsibility, human interest, consequences, morality, and conflict) developed by Semetko and Valkenburg (2000) as well as the three “macro-frames” (cynicism, speculation, and metacommunication) established by Constantinescu and Tedesco (2007). Results revealed that media from the countries that supported the Kosovo independence framed the event from the perspective of democracy and were almost twice more likely to discuss the position of the U.S., a key decision- maker in the Kosovo issue, than media from the countries that opposed it. Furthermore, newspaper articles from countries that did not support the event were nearly three times more inclined to present the Kosovo independence from the perspective of a precedent for separatism in Europe and the world.

By applying the framing theory in an international study, this thesis sheds light on the discrepancies in media coverage from these different democratic systems.

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