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Chapter Five 1999 Post-Elections Period - Leicester Research ...

Chapter Five 1999 Post-Elections Period - Leicester Research ...

139 followed by an

139 followed by an interpretative discussion of the framing tools revealed by the frames within the context of the 1999 post election. 5.2.1 Unity Frame In the sense that it derived from the regional voting patterns manifest in the election outcome, this frame was similar to the two detected in the 1994 case study (See Table 4.1). However, the violence that erupted soon after the announcement of the election results was also one of the main driving forces of this frame. The frame was drawn from 59 paragraphs coded from 21 articles representing 41.2% of all 51 articles in the newspapers corpus. Of these 21, 14 were drawn from the BNL stable and the Chronicle. The 59 paragraphs represented 40.9% of the 145 coded paragraphs in the case study. The problem definition component of the frame had 18 coded paragraphs representing 30.5% of the 59 paragraphs coded in this frame. Of these 59, 31 were from the 14 BNL/Chronicle newspapers while 28 were drawn from the seven articles in the NPL newspapers. The causal interpretation component had three paragraphs (5.1%) of these 59 paragraphs. Due to overlaps, the moral evaluations and the treatment recommendations components were combined with a total of 38 paragraphs representing 64.4% of the 59 paragraphs. 5.2.1.1 The BNL Newspapers and the Chronicle Ten of the paragraphs in the problem definition component were coded from the BNL newspapers and the Chronicles. The BNL newspapers and the Chronicle located the problem in two aspects. First, in six paragraphs, the newspapers argued that the manifest regional voting patterns indicated a continuing problem of regionalism in the country

140 (See Table 5.2). As the editorial writer in the Chronicle (1999a, p.1) noted: “. . . the elections have revealed just how divided we are as a nation.” Second, in four paragraphs, the editorial writers believed that the violence would do irreparable damage to national unity (See Table 5.2). This, in turn, was seen as a potential spark point for civil war as an editorial writer in the Malawi News (1999a, p.2) noted: “This violence is the manifestation of the animosity which some Malawians feel for other Malawians from different regions and ethnic groups.” In constructing the causal interpretation, the BNL newspapers and the Chronicle identified the inflammatory speeches by divisive politicians as the main cause (See Table 5.2). The people were blindly following their preferred political leaders and translating this inflammatory rhetoric into action by attacking their political enemies. One editorial writer noted: “Politicians continue to say inciting things and divide the country further.” (Chronicle, 1999a, p.1). Table 5.2: The Unity Frame in the BNL Newspapers and the Chronicle Problem Definition Presenters Paragraphs Articles Violence will destroy the national unity BNL/ Chronicle 4 (12.9%) 4 Elections reflect regionalism and tribalism BNL/ Chronicle 6 (19.4%) 5 Causal Interpretation Inflammatory speeches by divisive leaders BNL/ Chronicle 3 (9.7%) 3 Moral Eval./Treat. Rec. Government of National Unity BNL/ Chronicle 6 (19.4%) 5 The national leadership is divisive BNL/ Chronicle 4 (12.9%) 3 National dialogue BNL / Chronicle 4 (12.9%) 4 Unifying leaders BNL / Chronicle 4 (12.9%) 4 Total 31 (100%) 28 For the BNL newspapers and the Chronicle, moral evaluations and treatment recommendations were aimed at politicians in general regardless of their affiliation. The

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