Media Framing: How Can the Constitutional Name of One Country Be Changed?
Keywords:media frames, opinion leaders, referendum campaign, emotionally-charged words, Prespa Agreement, Republic of Macedonia
The Macedonian-Greek agreement to change the name of the Republic of Macedonia resulted in a referendum. The columns of relevant opinion leaders published in electronic media during the offi cial referendum campaign was the focus of interest and research presented in this article. The sample comprised 57 columns by 19 columnists. The discussion of the findings in this paper is based on framing theory with media content analyses; the template for media monitoring was used as an instrument based on human coding. The main research question addressed in this paper is: “How are opinion leaders setting frames?” The hypothesis is that opinion leaders use different themes and scripts to construct media framing due to narrow public opinion “for” or “against/boycott” the change of the constitutional name. Two negative, emotionally charged frames were identified: the frame “for” promoted positive messages reinforced with ideas about the EU and NATO membership; the frame “against/boycott” promoted messages that Macedonian identity will be lost.
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