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

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

225 the new

225 the new administration‟s economic policy. These frames easily fall within the generic category of the Economic Frame identified by Neuman, Just, & Crigler (1992, p.74-75) which presents issues in terms of the consequences it will have on individuals, groups, institutions, country and region. Another example of a generic frame present in the general framework of some of the emergent frame was the Conflict Frame which was also identified by Neuman, Just, & Crigler (1992, p.74-75). The Conflict Frame presents issues in terms of conflict among individuals or groups. The Unity Frame of 1999 and the Electoral Process Frames of 1999 and 2004 respectively emerged out of inherent conflict resulting from the outcome of the elections. The Leadership Frame of 2004 also had strong conflict overtones as it focused on the disagreement between the new president and his party president. The violence accompanying the outcome of the 1999 elections ensured a conflict element that drove the framing of the frame. Political conflict was also at the root of the Electoral Process Frames of 1999 and 2004. The generic Human Impact Frame which was also suggested by Neuman, Just, & Crigler (1992, p.74-75) was also the framework of the Governance Frames 1994. This generic frame is supposed to bring a human face or an emotional angle to the presentation of an issue. The two emergent frames emphasized human suffering under the late Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda and the MCP and promised observance of human rights and human dignity under the new political dispensation. All of these were expected to positively impact the ordinary citizen. The generic Morality Frame which was also suggested de Vreese, Peter, & Semetko (2001, p.96) was the general framework for the Failed Government Frames of 1994 and 1999 and all the four Leadership Frames detected in 1994, 1999, and 2004. This generic frame places issues within the context of religious tenets or moral

226 prescriptions. The Failed Government Frame of 1994 condemned as immoral the oppression of Malawians under the MCP. The Failed Government Frame of 2004 condemned Muluzi‟s UDF government for failure to deal with corruption, fiscal indiscipline and economic mismanagement as a moral failure. Morality Frame overtones are strong in the Leadership Frames. They ascribe divine appointment on the new presidents. In some cases such as the 1999 parliamentary frame and the 2004 frames, only the moral evaluation components emerged from the corpora. 7.1.5 Ownership and Emergent Frames The fifth principle deals with the influence of ownership on emergent frames. The study has established the influence (or lack of it) of ownership over the emergent frames in these case studies. Changes in ownership and owners‟ political alignment accounted for the marked differences in framing observed between the 1994 and 1999 case studies, on the one hand, and the 2004 case studies, on the other. There were other subtle changes from the 1994 case study to the 1999 case study which reflected on changes in ownership‟s political re-alignment as in the case of the Chronicle. This study is set within the context of a country changing over from an authoritarian system of governance to a more egalitarian one. The multiplicity of political voices and regular elections became the main distinguishing feature between the new system and the old one. In the new system, the press became part of a larger political and economic environment shared by other political players as Sparrow (2006, p.146) argued. Among these players were other media organisations, and politicians. The press in Malawi found itself unable to properly define its role and position within this context due to ownership‟s links to fractions of political power. As such in 1994 and 1999, the press in Malawi very much reflected the position observed by many

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