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Developing a Fit-for-Purpose Frame Analysis Technique to Understand British Newspaper Presentations of Diabetes

By: , & Published: 2020 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases: Medicine and Health
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The media plays a significant role in shaping and reflecting public understanding about concepts of health, risk, and disease. Media analysis is therefore useful in revealing how these concepts may be thought about and acted on by the public. There is significant diversity in the research methods used for analyzing media content, but has been limited transition of research expertise from social and cultural studies (where media analysis has been predominant) to health disciplines (where media analysis is seldom used). This study developed a new type of framing analysis to investigate media representations of diabetes in British newspapers. In particular, we were interested in how descriptions of diabetes changed over the same time period the “obesity epidemic” was being widely reported on. A sample of 462 newspaper articles in years 1993, 2001, and 2013 from three different British newspapers were analyzed. We used thematic analysis as a first step to gain familiarity with the dataset and also developed a new type of framing analysis which was fit-for-purpose to our research task. The pairing of methods helped us complete a rigorous analysis and interpretation of the research data. Challenges which arose during the research revolved around coding latent meaning during the frame analysis. Being explicit about the reasoning behind decisions made in individual research studies significantly increases their rigor and trustworthiness and also makes processes of analysis and interpretation more transparent.

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