61 Axial Coding of each editorial and parliamentary speech based on the problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation and treatment recommendation offered in these articles. Due to the voluminous amount of data to be analysed, a computer-assisted qualitative data analysis approach was devised. 3.1 Methodological Approach This part of the chapter will set out the general rationale of the techniques used in analyzing the data. This includes a discussion of the choice of the qualitative case study technique. Further, the section will also discuss the use of grounded theory as used in this study. 3.1.1 Rationale for the Qualitative Case Study Approach In this research study, the case studies are located within three major political epochs and events which presented political actors in Malawi with an opportunity to frame issues from their points of view. The case studies are fully discussed in chapter one, Section 1.2. Perhaps the overarching reason for choosing the case study approach in this study is that case studies are advantageous because, by their very nature, they act as explanatory research devices (Yin, 2003, p.6-8). The explanatory approach is used when the researcher wants to establish causal factors in a phenomenon. According to Yin and Moore (1988), analysis in this type of case study should match patterns of process in the observed phenomenon especially if the phenomenon is complex. They provide the researcher with an opportunity to observe phenomena holistically. As George and Bennet (2005, p.22) explain, this holistic approach can accrue two advantages which are appropriate for this study. First, conceptual validity is more readily achieved.
62 Contextual factors in case studies permit more feasible measurement of specific phenomena that are more difficult to determine in general social contexts. Second, case studies are very suitable for the study of contributory systems to specific phenomena. A case study enables the researcher to holistically observe phenomena or series of events and can provide a full picture since many sources of evidence are used. This research study is about framing in two different arenas which contribute to the political discourse in Malawi. With three case studies spread over a long period of time, the study will be able to identify similarities and differences that may address the role of newspapers in mediating political issues in an emerging democracy. The second reason why this study uses case studies is that even though case studies are small, time-bound and context specific (Hammersley, 1992, p.184), they enable the researcher to describe the cause and effect dynamics within a phenomena. This is especially true in multiple case studies situation like this study. In this respect, the case studies cannot be applied to the future where different contexts and other characteristics will be in play (Gall, Borg and Gall, 1996, p.22). According to Pyecha (1988), when the intent is to describe a phenomenon, the researcher should be looking to discover causes and effects patterns. Comparing and contrasting the discovered cause and effect will enable a description of the phenomenon under study. In relation to the above, the intent of this study is to observe and note newspaper discourses on political issues that defined the period between 1994 and 2004 against parliamentary speeches on the same political phenomena and epoch. Further, the study aims to discover whether or not owners of newspapers exert influence in the way political issues are framed. By using three case studies, the researcher hopes to not only detect the frames but also to examine how contextual factors such as the owners‟