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  1. Media framing refers to highlighting certain aspect of an issue in the news to promote a particular interpretation to the audience. Supervised learning has often been used to recognize frames in news articles, requiring a known pool of frames for a particular issue, which must be identified by communication researchers through thorough manual content analysis. In this work, we devise an unsupervised learning approach to discover the frames in news articles automatically. Given a set of news articles for a given issue, e.g., gun violence, our method first extracts frame elements from these articles using related Wikipedia articles and the Wikipedia category system. It then uses a community detection approach to identify frames from these frame elements. We discuss the effectiveness of our approach by comparing the frames it generates in an unsupervised manner to the domain-expert-derived frames for the issue of gun violence, for which a supervised learning model for frame recognition exists.
  2. Crowdcoding, a method that outsources “coding” tasks to numerous people on the internet, has emerged as a popular approach for annotating texts and visuals. However, the performance of this approach for analyzing social media data in the context of journalism and mass communication research has not been systematically assessed. This study evaluated the validity and efficiency of crowdcoding based on the analysis of 4,000 tweets about the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The results show that compared with the traditional quantitative content analysis, crowdcoding yielded comparably valid results and was superior in efficiency, but was more expensive under most circumstances.
  3. 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.