Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication

First Advisor

Lulu Rodriguez


This study analyzes the frames Iowa newspapers used to report on the biofuels issue, and examines the extent to which these media frames are present in the way audience members understand this important topic. Do the frames people hold about the topic match the ones found in the newspaper coverage? Is the valence of media coverage congruent with the orientation of public opinion?

A content analysis of news articles about biofuels from three newspapers--the Des Moines Register, the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Davenport Quad City Times--published over a one-year period was conducted to determine media frames. A mail survey of residents of the three cities where the newspapers are published--Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport--was done to elicit audience frames.

The findings show support for the framing theory proposition that media frames influence audience frames, based on the substantial overlap between the two. The news reports, however, were neutral while the respondents were very positive about the topic. The results indicate that while the media may be successful in telling people what to think about and how to think about those topics, they may not be too successful in influencing their attitudes about them.


Copyright Owner

Shin-heng Chang



Date Available


File Format


File Size

101 pages

Included in

Communication Commons