Color-Coded US Politics: Media Frames Found in US Newspaper Articles from 2004 to 2012

Benjamin Gross, Emily LoBello


During the 2000 US Presidential election, the terms “blue states” and “red states” emerged as a way to describe the political landscape of the United States. While these terms have become common heuristics used to organize how people think about politics, there is no singular agreed upon interpretation of what these terms tell us about America politics. This paper reviews the literature on framing and then discusses the identification of six media frames constructed around these terms between 2004 and 2012. Then, using a sample of 607 US newspaper articles, quantitative analysis indicates that the prevalence of particular frames changes during Presidential election years and by types of author. Overall, we find that frames vary in frequency depending on when the publication date and type of author, while also exploring how writers have used increasingly applied these terms towards seemingly apolitical realms of everyday life.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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