The last thing under the “umbrella” of framing is priming. To be honest, I didn’t know much about this until my supervisor brought it up as a potential category to look up. It’s not wholly different from framing or agenda-setting.

The concept of priming is based on the assumption that people don’t carefully weigh all possible aspects of a situation or problem when making decisions. Rather, people employ mental shortcuts when making up their minds. Every memory is stored as a node, and every node is related to another node by semantic paths. Nodes that are strongly connected to each other form a mental schema, an interpretative framework or a belief system. When an external stimulus, for instance a news headline, activates a node in this network, the entire schema gets activated and will serve as shortcut for making a decision. The more prominent the issue is in the media, the greater is its accessibility in a person’s memory.

Song of the day!


Having explained what agenda-setting is, framing comes next. Framing is very similar to agenda-setting, but it comes from different theoretical roots. Framing involves dividing news stories into separate categories (frames) and these can then be categorized in order of salience (importance). By analysing all seven Irish newspapers for the Budget weeks of 1987 and 2009, I can divide the stories frame by frame. From this information I can determine if an “agenda” was present or not.

Song of the day!


Now is as good a time as any to explain what this term is. Since I am looking at how the Irish media reacted to the 1987 and 2009 Budgets in terms of framing, I’ll probably be using such terms throughout this blog, so a brief summary is in order. Agenda-setting and framing are very similar, and indeed, related theories. Of course I initially had confused them, and used the terms interchangeably but in reality, they are separate.

Agenda-setting came before framing did and has different roots. In short, agenda-setting is about how the media prioritize certain stories and screen out others. These stories are organised in terms of salience, which roughly means order of importance, but it goes beyond that. It has to be identifiable with the audience watching or reading the stories, as well as fitting the “agenda” of whoever is organising the stories. This also means that the editor or media “gatekeeper” is central to what is being broadcast. It’s not an easy theory to prove, because obviously, not being an editor, I don’t have access to this sort of information, and journalists and media communicators in general seem to find problems wit this theory. Of course it doesn’t apply to them! Regardless, there is a lot of academic information on this theory, and it is an interesting way or studying how the media works.

Song of the day!


News today of Dio’s passing soured academic events somewhat, but I now have all the random and sketchy doodles in one book now. One small step at a time 🙂

Thesis scraps!


Song of the day! RIP Dio 😦

Meeting 2.0 Revisited

Had my second meeting with my coordinator today. Was more of a general banter about the thesis. The next goal is for some point in early June. I can hopefully have two or three pages of bullet points concerning Chapter 2 of the dissertation (I use the terms “thesis” and “dissertation” interchangeably throughout this blog!). This chapter is the Lit. Review, or the “review of literature”. I have had it in my head that I will dislike this chapter intensely. Having had the coordinator explain what is contained in this chapter further (I didn’t do one for my last thesis as it was not required), this preconception has not diminished at all.

To continue the negative buzz, I have very painful sinusitis and three big assignments (for other modules) to do in the next three weeks. Fun fun. But at least the thesis is still “all systems go”. And plus, my supervisor (teehee, now I can use that term rather than “coordinator”! 😀 ) says that the Lit. Review will be one of the biggest chapters, so it will be pretty kewl if I could get that done as early as possible.

Better make a plan of what to do next in the next few days… Much as I want to get smashed, the aul sinuses will be keeping me in for the next few days anyway.

Song of the day!

Meeting 2.0

“Dochendrix, can we meet next Thursday at 3pm to discuss the thesis?”

“Umm, okay.”

Song of the day!

Good to Go! (and Another Meeting)

After receiving word of a meeting with the coordinator today at half 8, I was initially thinking he wanted to meet up with folks (like me) who were having problems. It was also nearing time to assign supervisors for individual dissertations. However, half an hour beforehand, he e-mailed me saying HE would like to supervise me! But, only “if I had no further plans”. As if! So thankfully my dissertation is “good to go” and has a supervisor who is the head of the course. So good news for a change! Though the class meeting seemed a little unnecessary (the other two girls in my “micro-group” had no supervisors and were still in proposal phase, so I felt a little like a prat when I mentioned I had a supervisor, and who it was!)

Song of the day!