This paper is an investigation of the volume, nature and tone of news media coverage of the federal Lifeline Program from its inception to 2018. It aims to examine whether news media coverage is correlated with significant episodes of reform in the program.
Using the ProQuest Major Dailies database, articles covering the “Lifeline Program” were analyzed. Specifically, a quantitative codebook was developed, based on the literature, and four coders were trained to systematically analyze the 124 articles that discussed the program between 1985 and 2018.
The findings suggest that reforms in the program were preceded by significantly higher volumes of media coverage; however, the analysis is unable to confirm that negative media coverage has a stronger agenda setting effect. In addition, no significant difference was found between positive and negative news stories in their use of research-based information.
This study is interdisciplinary in its ability to combine policy and journalism studies as a mechanism to understand the relationship between the two forces.
Grzeslo, J., Bai, Y., Wang, R., Min, B. and Jayakar, K. (2019), "From headline to lifeline: does news set agenda for policy?", Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 352-368. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPRG-02-2019-0012Download as .RIS
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