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The Importance of Valence-Framing in the Process of Political Communication: Effects on the Formation of Political Attitudes among Viewers of Television News in the Czech Republic
Važnost vrijednosnog uokvirivanja u procesu političke komunikacije: studija slučaja o utjecaju vrijednosnog uokvirivanja na formiranje političkih stavova gledatelja televizijskih vijesti u Češkoj Republici

Hana Hurtíková
2017 Medijske Studije  
This article explores the meaning of valence-framing theory in political communication. It examines the influence of valence frames on the formation of political attitudes among the public. The valence-framing effect is derived from the information context value (positive, negative) and applies if people's attitudes towards a certain subject match the context value of the information received. The article presents a case study of reports during the crisis of Mirek Topolánek's government in the
more » ... government in the Czech Republic in 2009. It examines to what extent the context of the statements on the Czech news concerning the parliamentary parties Civic Democratic Party (ODS, leader Mirek Topolánek) and the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD, leader Jiří Paroubek) related to the existing political attitudes of their prospective audiences. The article argues that the valence-framing effect was more evident in the public broadcasting programme Události ČT than the commercial programme Televizní noviny, a paradox which can be explained by the unique link between the attributes of the Czech media environment and the political opinions of their viewers. KEy worDS political communication, the valence effect of framing, czech television news broadcasting, ods, Čssd InTroDUcTIon Today's society receives a large amount of information daily. A majority comes from the mass media. A significant amount of society's knowledge is created along with the content distributed by the media (Lapčík, 2012: 13). The media touches on all areas of everyday life with political affairs not being an exception. The process of creating politics can be understood as a communication activity which occurs in an environment with a multi-directional flow of information within the democratic society. The concept of political communication is closely connected with this process. It can be defined as an interactive, multi-layered process, in which a transfer of information between politicians, the news media, and the public occurs (Bradová, 2005: 16). Valence-framing theory emerges in political communication from the assumption that the news media plays a decisive role in the process of forming the political preferences of citizens (Druckman and Wild, 2009). The testing of valence-framing theory can be quantified by the level of effect the news can have on its recipients (Entman, 1993: 51). This presents valence-framing theory as one of the important concepts for the study of public opinion formation in political communication. Analysing television broadcasting provides an ideal way of examining the valenceframing effect (Iyengar and Kinder, 1991: 13). Television continues to serve as the most widespread medium today (Marketing charts, 2017) due to the character of news presentation. Television is a visual medium, which unlike press or radio combines picture and sound. It can mediate both the information and emotion, which accompany the events. The viewers receive an entertaining and easy source of information. This article examines the valence-framing effect of Události České televize and Televizní noviny TV Nova, two popular over the long-term television news programmes in the Czech Republic. The valence-framing effect is examined in relation to the character and form of information presented by the designated television programmes concerning the Czech parliamentary parties Civic Democratic Party (ODS), Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) and their chairmen at the time, Mirek Topolánek and Jiří Paroubek, two important figures in the 2009 Czech governmental crisis. The article examines to what extent the context value of the statements concerning specific political subjects presented in the prime-time television news on the TV stations ČT1 and TV Nova is related to the existing political preferences of prospective viewers of the TV shows, Událostí ČT and Televizní noviny. (1999) argue that political communication has entered its third age, characterised by media abundance. Television has become a key medium of providing 24/7 information about political issues. New communication techniques have enabled the participation of the entire public in the process of political
doi:10.20901/ms.8.15.6 fatcat:c2jpbpfqwnamtlobc5vsgc7hle