News media structure their reporting of events or issues using certain perspectives. When describing an incident involving gun violence, for example, some journalists may focus on mental health or gun regulation, while others may emphasize the discussion of gun rights. Such perspectives are called “frames” in communication research. We study, for the first time, the value of combining lead images and their contextual information with text to identify the frame of a given news article. We observe that using multiple modes of information(article- and image-derived features) improves prediction of news frames over any single mode of information when the images are relevant to the frames of the headlines. We also observe that frame image relevance is related to the ease of conveying frames via images, which we call frame concreteness. Additionally, we release the first multimodal news framing dataset related to gun violence in the U.S., curated and annotated by communication researchers. The dataset will allow researchers to further examine the use of multiple information modalities for studying media framing.
Detecting Frames in News Headlines and Its Application to Analyzing News Framing Trends Surrounding U.S. Gun Violence
Different news articles about the same topic often offer a variety of perspectives: an article written about gun violence might emphasize gun control, while another might promote 2nd Amendment rights, and yet a third might focus on mental health issues. In communication research, these different perspectives are known as “frames”, which, when used in news media will influence the opinion of their readers in multiple ways. In this paper, we present a method for effectively detecting frames in news headlines. Our training and performance evaluation is based on a new dataset of news headlines related to the issue of gun violence in the United States. This Gun Violence Frame Corpus (GVFC) was curated and annotated by journalism and communication experts. Our proposed approach sets a new state-of-the-art performance for multiclass news frame detection, significantly outperforming a recent baseline by 35.9% absolute difference in accuracy. We apply our frame detection approach in a large scale study of 88k news headlines about the coverage of gun violence in the U.S. between 2016 and 2018.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Proceedings of the 23rd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 504 to 514
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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