Source, time and space dimensions of a frame-changing process model: Tracking the Saddam Hussein trial story in elite U.S. newspapers


Communication scholars are interested in frameworks to track and analyze major news events. In the same tradition, this study examined the frame-changing process in news coverage by adding sources as a new dimension in Chyi and McCombs' two-dimensional frame changing model of time and space based on the rationale that sources (the "who") are as important as time (the "when") and space (the "where"). The revised model was tested on a highprofile international news event, the Saddam Hussein trial, through a content analysis of its coverage in two elite U.S. newspapers. The study found sources to be a significant news frame shaper that played an important role in defining emergence, peak and declination of a news event in news media. The identified core frame of "present + individual space + government sources," accompanied by an extended frame of "present + individual space + individual sources," kept the 15-month trial salient in the news. The revised model can serve as a generic tool to analyze and compare news coverage across borders, across subject matters and across historical turning points.

Publication Title

American Communication Journal

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