The Crisis of Public Health as a Media Event: Between Media Frames and Public Assessments

The Crisis of Public Health as a Media Event: Between Media Frames and Public Assessments

Valentina Marinescu (University of Bucharest, Romania)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9967-0.ch006
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Abstract

The focus of the present article is on the analysis of the influence exercised by media narratives on the Romanian audience's reconstructions of social movements from January-February 2012. The analysis was interested to show what are the aspects involved in the publicizing of this media event in Romania, by focusing on the event narrative built in such a way to transmit a particular significance related to the protest movements related to the crisis of the health public system in Romania. Two research methods were used in collecting the data: a survey on two hundreds Romanian respondents and quantitative content analysis of five national Romanian newspapers. As the results show, the high consumption of mass media messages does not determine whether the public adopts the media narratives concerning the events from the beginning of year 2012. At the same time, the analysis shows that in the case of the media events that took place in Romania in January-February 2012 the impact of the media narrative on the way in which the audience from Romania rebuilt those protests was a minor one and other factors had played a major role in triggering massive mass protests in Romania.
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Theoretical Framework

The Social and Media Construction of a “Media Event”

The focus of the present article will be on the analysis of the influence exercised by media narratives on the Romanian audience’s reconstructions of social movements from January-February 2012. To be more precise, we are interested in the analysis of the aspects involved in the publicizing of this media event, by focusing on the event narrative built in such a way to transmit a particular significance related to the protest movements related to the crisis of the health public system in Romania.

As Couldry stated (2003, p. 59–69), we considered that in the case of the events of January-February 2012, the relation between the media and the community had as main characteristic the presentation and the manipulation of certain fundamental schemes and categories through images and written texts.

In the context of the mass media image all the three aspects of the sign according to Pierce (iconic, indexical, symbolical) function simultaneously in order to support the interpreting and framing of particular news. In the case of the image a number of factors functions in order to limit the polysemy. According to Goldman and Beeker’s analysis (1985, p. 351–361; Hall, 1973, p. 176–190), we perceive images on a daily basis and that is why we see them as “naturally produced artifacts”, whose significance is neither built nor contested. At the same time, visual symbolism is often based on metaphorical relations that are fundamental for our cognitive system, becoming thus invisible (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980, p. 115–123.). Moreover, the people producing and the people reading a newspaper can function, in Fowler’s terms (Fowler, 1991), on the basis of a “shared competence” of the interpretation which developed over the years and could make one’s favorite significance of a text inherent and much more automatized.

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