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Framing the Hartz IV Programme in the Regional German Media

Student: Nadezhda Ozornina

Supervisor: Alexander Mannin

Faculty: Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design

Educational Programme: Advertising and Public Relations (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2021

The study is devoted to the problem of ambiguity in understanding the modern framing strategies of the Hartz IV programme in the German regional media. The paper examines the main theoretical approaches to the analysis of German media in the context of the social program Hartz IV and the problem of unemployment. The research methodology is based on a content analysis of 1309 articles about the Hartz IV program, published in the period from 2019 to 2020 in 16 regional German media, the largest in terms of circulation. As a result of the study, 5 main frames are identified that are used in the classification of Valkenburg and Semetko: attribution of responsibility frame, human interest frame, conflict frame, morality frame and economic frame. Using the SPSS software, the content, frame rate dynamics and differences in media frame usage across different regions are analyzed. The author comes to the conclusion that the attribution of responsibility frame is most often used in publications, during the period of the pandemic the frame of human interest is actualized, and the frequency of frames is associated with the belonging of the media to the groups of regions, distinguished by social, political and historical criteria. Suggestions are made about the possibility of maintaining a balance of opinions in the German media, which can be used in developing ideas for amending the social system in Germany.

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