Julia Lück, Hartmut Wessler, Antal Wozniak, Diogenes Lycariao
Counterbalancing global media frames with nationally colored narratives: A comparative study of news narratives and news framing in the climate change coverage of five countries

Journalism, 2018: 19, Heft 12, S. 1635–1656
ISSN: 1464-8849 (print); 1741-3001 (online)

This study disentangles national and transnational influences on international journalism by distinguishing convergent issue framing from nationally specific narrative in news texts. In a comparative quantitative content analysis of the newspaper coverage in five democratic countries (Brazil, Germany, India, South Africa, and United States) during four United Nations climate change conferences from 2010 to 2013, both textual-visual framing and narrative features were studied simultaneously for the first time. The narrative dimension consisted of variables that gauge (1) the degree of narrativity in an article, (2) the type of narrative (i.e. stories of catastrophe, conflict, success etc.), and (3) narrative roles of victims, villains, and heroes. Hierarchical cluster analysis was used to identify both the prevailing issue frame in an article and its dominant narrative. Results show that issue frames converge more strongly across countries while narratives are more closely related to the cultural context and political particularities of each country. Investigating issue frames and narratives concurrently helps to reveal country-specific patterns of narrative coloring even for the same issue frame.