Elections, Policy and the Media: Tasmania's Forests and the 2004 Federal Election
Much of the academic literature holds the media responsible for the proliferation of the game frame as a way of reporting on elections. This paper challenges that view through an examination of media coverage of forest policy in the 2004 Federal election. The study of articles published in three major broadsheets finds that the majority of stories were set within the game frame, which depicts elections as sporting contests, and that far fewer articles focused on the issue. The lack of interest in policy is characteristic of election reporting but, in this case, can be attributed to the way in which the major parties managed their campaigns. Not only did they drive the game frame but, as policy makers, also determined the frame within which the limited media consideration of policy substance was set. The article concludes that political actors must take, at least, some responsibility for the domination of the game frame in election reporting.
Australian Journal of Political Science