5 Citations (Scopus)


Two widely applied entrances to critically analyze mediated political communication are framing and discourse theory. While media discourse and framing are used in close connection in academic literature, we examine how the approaches theorize media power and politics differently. Framing theory examines how issues are constructed interactively, represented in mediated form, and interpreted within an institutionalized policy sphere. Some framing studies critically examine structural or hegemonic power. However, the preoccupation with manifest interactions entails a diminished sensibility to systematic exclusion. Discourse theory provides a post-foundational conceptualization of politics as the political in which media discourses are antagonistic, contingent, and open to change. Discourse theory expands media power to include (subversive) positions beyond hegemonic politics. We argue that applying either discourse or framing theory in media studies has theoretical and analytical consequences and that theoretical sensitivity will strengthen the discriminatory power of framing and discourse theory as two distinct fields.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberqtac012
JournalCommunication Theory
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • discourse theory
  • framing
  • media power
  • politics
  • the political

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