- Manufacturing conflict? How journalists intervene in the conflict frame building process
- The International Journal of Press/Politics
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
A considerable amount of research is devoted to the presence and effects of conflict frames in the news. However, it is unknown if journalists actively manufacture and inflate conflict in their coverage of politics, or if they merely respond to contentious politics as it happens. This study focuses on the extent to which journalists take an interventionist stance in the conflict frame building process. We conducted expert interviews (N = 16) among Dutch political journalists. Results show that journalists indeed take an active stance in conflict frame building. They contribute to the emergence of conflict frames by using exaggerating language, by orchestrating, and by amplifying possible consequences of political conflict. However, intervention in conflict framing is not merely a result of individual agency of journalists. Rather, some role conceptions seem to counter an interventionist stance. Media routines that are embedded in organizational practices were found to facilitate this active role in conflict framing. Finally, journalists are mainly found to be active when politicians or parties with political power are involved.
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