How do news issues help frame telenovela plots?: a framing analysis of Brazilian print national press and TV Globo’s 8 p.m. telenovela Duas caras [Two faced/s]

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Cantrell, Tania Heather

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This study examines how news issues help frame telenovela plots and compares how the print media and telenovelas frame several key social and political issues. Secondary systematic sampling of the Brazilian leading daily newspaper O Jornal do Brasil and newsmagazine Veja/Veja-Rio from January 2007 to April 2008 generated 313 news stories along with 292 photos for analysis. A five-composite week sample of TV Globo’s 8 p.m. hit telenovela Duas Caras resulted in 31 episodes — including its premiere and finale — or a total of 1,051 scenes to explore. Applying framing theory (Reese, 2003) through a reciprocal and dynamic comparative narrative analysis (Berger, 2005; Berger, 1997) to this body of materials suggests the telenovela, compared to news, is a more progressive storyteller with regard to race, class and gender news issues. Salient latent news frames The Government is the family and Brazilian democracy is more social than racial emerge from this study’s news portion. These are compared with the emergent salient latent novela frames Family first, family forever and It’s not the position that rules, but the influence. For the first time in TV Globo’s history, an Afro-Brazilian is an 8 p.m. telenovela hero. In addition, Duas Caras highlights his successful municipal election campaign, right around the time municipal election campaigns in Brazil were gearing up and while U.S. citizens were considering then electing their first Afro- American president. Duas Caras also sanitizes favelas, or Brazilians shantytowns, contrasting the fictive locale of Portelinha against marginalized portrayals of favelas and their residents in the news. In a diversifying media environment where lines between fact and fiction are increasingly less apparent, Brazilian (alternative) news studies, such as social marketing themes in telenovelas, are critical measures of the state of media opening in Brazil (Porto, 2007). They also reveal from which source(s) Brazilians receive their news information, raising the question, Do telenovelas help frame news issues?



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