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Media Framing of a Civil Liberties Conflict and Its Effect on Tolerance

Thomas E. Nelson, Rosalee A. Clawson and Zoe M. Oxley
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 91, No. 3 (Sep., 1997), pp. 567-583
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2952075
Page Count: 17
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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.
Media Framing of a Civil Liberties Conflict and Its Effect on Tolerance
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Abstract

Framing is the process by which a communication source, such as a news organization, defines and constructs a political issue or public controversy. Two experiments examined the effect of news frames on tolerance for the Ku Klux Klan. The first presented research participants with one of two local news stories about a Klan rally that varied by frame: One framed the rally as a free speech issue, and the other framed it as a disruption of public order. Participants who viewed the free speech story expressed more tolerance for the Klan than participants who watched the public order story. Additional data indicate that frames affect tolerance by altering the perceived importance of public order values. The relative accessibility of free speech and public order concepts did not respond to framing. A second experiment used a simulated electronic news service to present different frames and replicated these findings.

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