In the morning before the start of Etmaal 2020 (February 6, 2020), the NeFCA Divisions Organizational Communication and Journalism organised a pre-conference on the topic of “Framing in journalism and public relations”. The pre-conference was followed by 52 scholars and turned out to become a very interactive and interesting discussion with keynote speaker prof. Baldwin Van Gorp (Institute for Media Studies, KU Leuven) on the topic of framing in journalism and PR.
The pre-conference was initiated by keynote speaker, prof. Baldwin Van Gorp, an internationally reknown expert on the topic of framing. In his keynote, Baldwin Van Gorp formulated an answer to the criticisms the concept of framing has recently received, both from a societal and an academic angle. In the public debate, framing stands for a false representation of reality, and it is therefore something that must absolutely be avoided. In academic literature, framing is regularly put away as too vague, as a synonym for the general way in which the media shape an issue, or as a concept with insufficient explanatory power. In the Annals of the International Communication Association, Krippendorff (2017, p. 97) stated that many framing studies describe the social consequences of alternative perceptions, whereas those consequential effects are linked in a rather clumsy way to the processes in which social realities are created. Based on some striking examples, Van Gorp made a number of concrete suggestions for research questions that can help advance framing research.
Following this very interesting topic, a mix of both junior and senior scholars gave short presentations on a variety of topics, including:
- Niet Hietbrink en Liesbeth Hermans (Windesheim): “What’s in a frame? Het gebruik van frames in de berichtgeving over de provinciale statenverkiezingen 2018”
- Hannes Cools (KU Leuven): “Framing automation: a quantitative framing analysis of emerging technologies in American newspapers”
- Jeroen Jonkman & Piet Verhoeven (Amsterdam School of Communication Research – ASCoR): “Framing public organizational legitimacy: Support and criticism in climate change news on Royal Dutch Shell”
- Mirjam Vossen (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen): “Organisational frames and the media: the case of nuclear energy”
- Priscilla Hau (UAntwerpen): “Framing across platforms. How Flemish politicians frame migration in news media and on Twitter”
After these presentations, Van Gorp made a summary and gave some very interesting concluding thoughts for both the presenters, as well as for the audience.