It seems reasonable to state that within the scope of academic research, sampling strategies, open coding, and frame analysis can be considered as a crucial foundation for appropriate discussion. However, there is a necessity to gain skills by continuous practice and effort, dedicating time to particular issues. This allows one to apply the mentioned techniques and methods to broad and relevant problems. The theme for the discussion is the news coverage of British Columbia’s wildfires and increased temperatures this past summer. There are five articles that were chosen in order to conduct the frame analysis within the scope given. Two dominant frames that were found in the articles are wildfire danger and disaster management.
Search Process and Sampling Method
The search process was conducted via NexisUni that allowed finding five articles directly related to the topic. The keywords that were used are as follows – B.C. wildfire increased temperatures and consequences. The latter keyword was utilized in order to make an emphasis on the severity of the issue to productively narrow the scope of the research. The filter was related to the publication dates, which were specified – from June 1, 2020, to October 16, 2020. The platform contributed to a smooth and consistent search process that did not take too much time.
Then, it is important to say about a sampling method used to select the five articles. Given the fact that the theme and the purpose of the discussion were known prior to the search process, there is evidence that it was not a random sampling method (Merrigan et al., 2012). A non-random sampling approach that seems to fit here is purposive. This is also known as judgment sampling that implies that a researcher is to use their expertise in order to choose a sample that would be the most beneficial for the purposes of a study (Merrigan et al., 2012). It is a great basis for qualitative research, and this discussion follows its essentials.
Framing Method Explanation
At this point, the explanation of the theory that serves as a foundation for the paper will be given. It is crucial to note that the grounded theory method is a background for the whole investigation provided in the following section. It is developed in order to encourage a researcher’s persistent interaction with data flows, as well as to remain involved with their ongoing analysis (Bryant & Charmaz, 2007). Hence, both this data collection process and analysis should proceed simultaneously and complement each other.
Then, the coding process can be seen as the ‘bones’ of the discussion. In the framework given, coding implies the categorization of data segments with short names that contemporaneously summarize and account for all data pieces (Bryant & Charmaz, 2007). The codes provide one with the opportunity to select, split, and classify information to launch the exploration of them. After the five articles were chosen, the following stage was initial coding, which can be viewed as the first step of the frame analysis. Close reading was conducted to label fragments of data that were then put into emerging categories. The second stage was focused coding that means taking useful initial codes and comparing them to more contexts and senses (Bryant & Charmaz, 2007). With the grounded theory background, an emphasis during the coding step was on these codes that arose from my understanding of the content rather than from earlier frames used to them.
The next stage can be named the final stage of the frame analysis. Entman (1993) states that framing involves selection and salience, and the latter emerges after a number of aspects of reality are made more salient in an analyzed text. After particular parts of the publications were labeled, grouped, and categorized, there was the possibility to define the two dominant frames through the analytical perspective. The texts were re-read with the concept of framing in mind in order to ensure the reliability of the findings. It seems reasonable to emphasize that selection and salience were carefully taken into account throughout the whole process, which contributed to an effective approach to the frame analysis (Entman, 1993). Below, the latter’s peculiarities and resulting assumptions in the context of the issue and the chosen articles will be provided.
Frame Analysis Discussion
At the beginning of this section, it would be appropriate to claim the two dominant frames that are present in the news sample analyzed are wildfire danger and disaster management. Such an approach implies an inductive way of reasoning, which seems to fit the purposes and design of the discussion. The first dominant frame – wildfire danger – is suggested, given three groups of concepts. The second frame is disaster management that is evident from another three categories of concepts as well. As mentioned above, there was the importance of close reading of the texts so that the reliability of these frames would be ensured (Bryant & Charmaz, 2007). The first stage of the analysis started from initial coding.
The latter began from highlighting the crucial parts of the publications and their labeling. In particular, these fragments – “about 10 square kilometres of bush had been charred” (The Canadian Press, 2020a, para. 2) and “One huge blaze burned in ancient coastal redwood forests” (Latif, 2020, para. 5) – were labeled as wildfire damaging bushes and wildfire damaging forests, respectively. An attempt was made to put them in a group; it was named as wildfire impact on nature.
Then, the following parts were put in one category was called wildfire impact on properties. Specifically, “the fire has burned more than 20 square kilometres” (The Canadian Press, 2020b, para. 3) was labeled wildfire burning vast territories; “destroying one home and prompting hundreds of evacuations” (The Canadian Press, 2020d, para. 6) was named as wildfire destroying and threatening homes. Moreover, the part, “The area closest to homes had reduced to a low smoulder, but the winds could push the blaze closer to property” (The Canadian Press, 2020c, para. 11), was called impending hazard for properties. It should also be noted that all five publications contain phrases that are related to the reasons for the wildfire, emphasizing lightning as a crucial one. Such repeating words and phrases were categorized as wildfire causes. In conjunction, the latter group, wildfire impact on properties, and wildfire impact on nature were put in the first dominant frame – wildfire danger.
The following analysis was focused on identifying the second frame in the chosen texts. Particularly, these parts were labeled, “The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen ordered the evacuation” (The Canadian Press, 2020a, para. 3); “wildfire has subsided and the evacuation alert” (The Canadian Press, 2020b, para. 2); “240,000 people under evacuation orders” (Latif, 2020, para. 2); “Ten properties were ordered evacuated” (The Canadian Press, 2020c, para. 17); “Evacuation alerts have now been lifted” (The Canadian Press, 2020c, para. 1). After this, they were put in a group that was called evacuation affairs.
What is more, all the articles contain a number of expressions of officials who were involved in dealing with the wildfire. For instance, there are cited words of fire information officer Nicole Bonnett (The Canadian Press, 2020c) or the position of The Regional District of Central Kootenay (The Canadian Press, 2020d). Such a tendency allowed gathering the related fragments into one category – positions of officials. Then, the publications cover the activities of Wildfire Service – except the one about the wildfire in California, which mentions “fire crews traveling from seven states and National Guard troops” (Latif, 2020, para. 14). Hence, similar parts were grouped and named wildfire agencies’ actions. In conjunction, the latter category, positions of officials, and evacuation affairs formed the second frame – disaster management.
Thus, the completion of the frame analysis indeed contributes to an in-depth understanding of various problems, appropriate interpretation of content, as well as its significant evaluation. From the above discussion, it is clear that the most salient categories allowed identifying two dominant frames – wildfire danger and disaster management – which corresponds with the approach suggested by Entman (1993). The comprehension of these frames leads to the realization of the crucial aspects of the texts. Specifically, the focus is on the hazard coming from the wildfire in the area and how public forces help people to deal with this disaster. It might be assumed that the purpose of these and similar news articles is not just to cover the dangerous event but to show citizens that they will not be abandoned in such situations.
To conclude, the frame analysis was applied to the five selected articles related to the problem of wildfire in British Columbia. The theoretical background, as well as the work process, were provided. It was found that the two dominant frames from the publications are wildfire danger and disaster management. These identified frames allowed understanding the essential aspects of the issue and defining the crucial purpose of the articles – not just to inform but to calm down to an exact extent.
Bryant, A., & Charmaz, K. (2007). The SAGE handbook of grounded theory. Sage.
Entman, R. (1993). Framing: Toward a clarification of a paradigm. Journal of Communication, 43(4), 51–58. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.1993.tb01304.x
Latif, A. (2020). California battles more lightning wildfires, humidity helps. National Post. Web.
Merrigan, G., Huston, C. L., & Johnston, R. (2012). Communication research methods: Canadian edition. Oxford University Press.
The Canadian Press. (2020a). Hundreds evacuated, thousands on notice as wildfire flares in southern B.C. National Post. Web.
The Canadian Press. (2020b). Evacuation alert lifted for Penticton, B.C., wildfire threat has ‘subsided’. National Post. Web.
The Canadian Press. (2020c). Strong winds in forecast prompts warning to B.C. residents near fire. National Post. Web.
The Canadian Press. (2020d). All evacuation alerts now lifted near only remaining wildfire of note in B.C. National Post. Web.