A mixed-methods framing analysis of Belarusian and Ukrainian protests


The following study analysed online articles in German media discussing protests in Ukraine in 2014 and Belarussian protests in 2020. A mixed-methods approach of combining qualitative and quantitative content analyses was used to examine frames and frame sources utilised in the articles. There were 489 articles used for the analysis. The study also examined statistically significant differences between the frequency of frames by country. A frame indicated in each story was coded as a variable (“human impact”, “powerlessness”, “moral values”, and “conflict”). The human impact frame was more common in articles regarding Belarus than in articles regarding Ukraine. The moral values frame was the least common frame in articles regarding both Ukraine and Belarus. The powerlessness frame was the most prominent for both countries. The most significant difference between the two countries was indicated regarding conflict frame utilisation. The statistical analysis shows that there is a statistically significant difference of frames covered by German media. The statistically significant difference of powerlessness frame was: 67,49% (Ukraine) and 76,74% (Belarus); in moral values frame: 2,48% (Ukraine) and 6,59% (Belarus); in the conflict frame: 24,46% (Ukraine) and 6,59% (Belarus); in human impact frame: 5,57% (Ukraine) and 10,08% (Belarus). Finally, the utilised sources by frame were indicated. Sources utilised for the powerlessness frame were international officials and local officials (in Ukraine and Belarus). Sources utilised for the human impact frame were citizens (in both Ukraine and Belarus) and oppositional politicians (Belarus only). Sources utilised for conflict frame: oppositional politicians (Ukraine only), international officials, local officials. Sources utilised for moral values frame were local celebrities, intellectual elite (Ukraine) and oppositional politicians (Belarus). Findings show that media in Germany relied mostly on politicians and international officials, while the perspective of ordinary citizens appeared to be less prominent.

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