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

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

227 media scholars that

227 media scholars that journalists learn what sort of news matches or exceeds their bosses‟ expectations and prepare media content with this in mind (Sparrow, 1999, pp. 107-108; Mano, 2005). In this respect, the owners of the Malawian press had partisan interests and fostered those interests in the press. The press became extensions of the political parties with whom their owners were associated. Thus, in the 1994 and 1999 case studies, the BNL newspapers and the NPL newspapers reflected the preferred position of the MCP and the UDF respectively due to their connections to these parties. Unlike the BNL newspapers and the NPL newspapers‟ position, the Chronicle was only very loosely connected to the UDF on the basis of shared democratic principles in 1994. Thus, the Chronicle provided generally favourable coverage for the UDF government in the 1994 post elections period. However, in the 1999 post elections period, the Chronicle‟s owner, Rob Jamieson, was clearly unhappy with the record of the UDF (Cammack, 2000). The Chronicle experienced a re-alignment of the owner‟s political affiliation which was also reflected in the negative coverage which the Chronicle gave the UDF. The 2004 case study marked the highest level of freedom enjoyed by the Malawian press since 1964. The BNL newspapers had new ownership that was not interested in politics. The NPL newspapers‟ owners had politically re-aligned freeing the newspapers from at least supporting the UDF. The result was a more nuanced critical form of journalism that focused on the national interest than the narrow partisan views of the political parties. 7.2 The Influence of Frame Components Apart from the above generalisation, a sixth principle that can be drawn from the case studies is the centrality of problem definitions and moral evaluations in Malawian

228 political communication. In detecting frames in the corpora, this study used Robert Entman‟s (1993, p.52; 2004, p.5) definition of frames which ascribes four components to a frame. These are Problem Definitions, Causal Interpretations, Moral Evaluations and Treatment Recommendations. Through open coding, coded paragraphs were placed under these various frame components before a central theme was identified which became the frame. The following discussion will examine the key roles played by problem definitions and moral evaluations in Malawian political discourse. However, it is before doing so it is important to note the significance of each frame component. In the 1994 case study, 76 paragraphs were coded to the Problem Definition components of the editorials corpus while 23 were coded in the parliamentary corpus (See Table 7.4). A Chi Square test revealed a significant difference between the two corpora regarding paragraphs coded to the problem definition components (Chi Square = 16.669, 2df, p=0.000). In the same case study, there were 14 paragraphs coded to the Causal Interpretation components of the parliamentary corpus compared to 29 coded to the editorials corpus (See Table 7.4). A Chi Square test revealed a significant difference between the two corpora (Chi Square = 23.872, 2df, p=0.000). The Moral Evaluation components also revealed a significant difference between the two corpora. There were 67 paragraphs coded to the parliamentary corpora compared to 61 in the editorials corpus (See Tables 7.4) (Chi Square = 32.403, 3df, p=0.000). The Treatment Recommendations components in the editorials corpus had 33 paragraphs compared to 30 paragraphs in the parliamentary corpus (See Table 7.4). The Chi Square test revealed a significant difference (Chi Square = 63, 3df, p=0.000). In the 1999 case study, Causal Interpretation components had 19 paragraphs coded from the parliamentary corpus while the editorials corpus had 26 paragraphs (See Table 7.4). The Chi Square Test revealed a significant difference (Chi Square = 34.873, 3 df,

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