In the lights of the 2013 impeachment process against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, the study investigates both the agency of news media during impeachment crisis by looking into the main difference in the framing of the topic between Grande Midia – group of the main newspaper outlets in Brazil – and international media outlets reporting to the local audience. To this purpose, a framing analysis is set up to understand how the impeachment process is construed to the public and the ton of its coverage. By looking into the positioning of the media groups on the impeachment, we sought to provide insights on the role of media as a political actor during impeachment crisis as well as the play-out of institutional ties between press and government.
First, the main theoretical concepts of frame and framing analysis are developed along with a review on the coverage of impeachment processes by media. After that, the main actors of these coverages are presented. Through a content analysis with a qualitative-inductive approach, frames are determined and described; subsequently, their incidence is measured in the coverage of both media groups, through a codebook. The sample (N=410) was allocated proportionally throughout the research period, taking into consideration texts published from 30th March 2016 up to 25th of April 2016. To test the consistency of the frames and the coding of its incidence, an intracoder test was conducted, which resulted in an intra-coder agreement (Holsti’s CR = 0.88).
The sample pointed out the presence of 8 frames: Legal/Technical, Economic, Public and Popularity, Democratic, Governability, Political Plot, Corruption and Placar; moreover the findings point out to a significant differences in the reporting between both media group, with the Grande Midia generally engaging in a more supportive treatment towards the impeachment (highlighting aspects such as corruption and “backstage” politics) and the International Media in Brazil taking a more neutral instance on the topic, varying the incidence of perspectives on the reported issue.