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Communication in the Age of Trump

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Edited By Arthur S. Hayes

Franklin Delano Roosevelt used radio fireside chats to connect with millions of ordinary Americans. The highly articulate and telegenic John F. Kennedy was dubbed the first TV president. Ronald Reagan, the so-called Great Communicator, had a conversational way of speaking to the common man. Bill Clinton left his mark on media industries by championing and signing the landmark Telecommunications Act of 1996 into law. Barack Obama was the first social media presidential campaigner and president. And now there is President Donald J. Trump.

Because so much of what has made Donald Trump’s candidacy and presidency unconventional has been about communication—how he has used Twitter to convey his political messages and how the news media and voters have interpreted and responded to his public words and persona—21 communication and media scholars examine the Trump phenomenon in Communication in the Age of Trump. This collection of essays and studies, suitable for communication and political science students and scholars, covers the 2016 presidential campaign and the first year of the Trump presidency.

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10. A “Political Novice” vs. the “Queen of War”: How State-Sponsored Media Framed the 2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign (Nataliya Roman / John H. Parmelee)

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10. A “Political Novice” vs. the “Queen of War”: How State-Sponsored Media Framed the 2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign

NATALIYA ROMAN AND JOHN H. PARMELEE

University of North Florida

U.S. presidential elections are arguably some of the most followed events in the world. Each four years, party conventions, presidential debates and other aspects of election campaigning result in extensive media coverage in the U.S. and abroad. Such overseas interest can be explained by the “outsized impact of U.S. economic, political and cultural strengths” (Kluver, n.d., para. 1). The U.S. is a major military power with the largest economy in the world (Gray, 2017; Haynie, 2017). The outcome of presidential elections can “affect the security and economic prosperity of other nations” (Haynie, 2017, para. 2).

At the same time, the way media frame U.S. presidential elections can affect how people see the U.S. and its values around the world (Kluver, n.d.). According to Entman (1993), “to frame is to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment recommendation for the item described” (p. 52).

Framing analysis is especially interesting in the context of international broadcasters. These media organizations are public diplomacy efforts of their governments and are funded by their respective states. The goal of these international broadcasters is to...

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