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Journal Article

Framing Responsibility for Political Issues

Shanto Iyengar
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 546, The Media and Politics (Jul., 1996), pp. 59-70
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1048170
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Framing Responsibility for Political Issues
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Abstract

This article examines the influence of television news on viewers' attributions of responsibility for political issues. Television's systematic reliance on episodic as opposed to thematic depictions of political life elicits individualistic attributions of responsibility for national problems such as poverty and terrorism. These attributions emphasize the actions of private rather than governmental actors. By obscuring the connections between political problems and the actions or inactions of political leaders, television news trivializes political discourse and weakens the accountability of elected officials.

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