Political News with a Personal Touch

Mark Boukes, Hajo G. Boomgaarden, Marjolein Moorman, Claes H. de Vreese
  • Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, November 2014, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/1077699014558554

What is it about?

Journalists increasingly use personal exemplars in news stories about political issues. This study experimentally investigated how such human interest framing indirectly affects political attitudes via the way people attribute responsibility of an issue. Results show that exposure to human interest-framed television news increased attribution of responsibility to the government for the portrayed problem, which in turn decreased support for the government to cut public spending on this issue. This article explains how and why these findings are in line with exemplification theory but run counter to findings of studies on episodic framing effects.

Why is it important?

Provides insight on the debate what personalized news with human examples might mean for media effects.


Dr Mark Boukes
Universiteit van Amsterdam

It combines two theoretical frameworks: Episodic versus thematic framing, but also exemplification theory.

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