Framing the Commonwealth in Uganda’s print media: A comparative study of the New Vision and Daily Monitor newspapers
Alina, Marion Olga
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The purpose of this study was to assess the manner in which the leading dailies frame international organizations and the effect of such framing on the readers. With particular focus on the Commonwealth as an international organization, the study looked at its framing in the country’s leading dailies, the Daily Monitor and the New Vision, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November 2007. The research was premised on the media theories of framing and circuit of culture. It looks at how these theories were applied in the coverage of the 2007 CHOGM in Kampala. The researcher set out to establish whether the framing of the Commonwealth in this period had a similar impact on readers as reflected in their responses through letters to the editor and commentary published in the same period. The study is qualitative in nature and employed thematic content analysis and in-depth interview methodologies for data collection. The key finding of this study was that even in light of framing, a section of the audience will still hold different opinions on a given subject, divergent from fronted frames in the news or in the editorials. The issue/topic consequently carries different frames depending on who is making the analysis; ranging from the editorial team in media houses, the news sources quoted in stories or the readers as voiced in published commentaries or letters to the Editor. The study also discovered a number of frames, divergent from the generic ones suggested by previous scholars. These frames included the; Corruption frame, Neocolonial frame, Commonwealth double standards frame, Security frame, Commonwealth values frame, Memorable and high profile event frame, Shoddy works frame, and Poverty frame. The generic frames suggested by previous scholars are; Conflict, Human interest, Attribution of responsibility, Morality and Economic consequences.