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Framing, Public Relations, and Scientology: An Analysis of News Coverage and a Controversial Organization

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Date Issued:
2013
Abstract/Description:
This study investigated the most common frames used in news coverage of the Church of Scientology from 2009 to 2013. Using textual analysis, with framing and public relations theories as lenses, this study examined recent news coverage (-) both print and television (-) to identify frames used, and the potential public relations crises the Church is currently facing due to this media exposure. Analysis showed three major frames used during coverage, along with their corresponding sub-frames, which highlight certain aspects of the frame: Culture of Abuse (Imprisonment, Controlling, Family Disconnection, Exploitation of Children, Violence, and Financial Abuse), The Information Paradox (Conflicting Information, Simple Misunderstanding, and Non-Traditional Approach), and Leadership Issues (The Problem Lies with Leadership, Celebrity Obsession). Also uncovered were three potential public relations crises: The Mistreatment of Church Members, The Misuse of Funds, and Bad Communication Strategy. The research showed a strong strategic preference of the Church to use legal tactics or denial strategies when dealing with crises. A review of public relations theory suggests that the Church use a more open approach and also incorporate mortification strategies to accept blame and repair their damaged image.
Title: Framing, Public Relations, and Scientology: An Analysis of News Coverage and a Controversial Organization.
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Name(s): McAllister, Kristy, Author
Sandoval, Jennifer, Committee Chair
Neuberger, Lindsay, Committee Member
Coombs, Timothy, Committee Member
, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2013
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This study investigated the most common frames used in news coverage of the Church of Scientology from 2009 to 2013. Using textual analysis, with framing and public relations theories as lenses, this study examined recent news coverage (-) both print and television (-) to identify frames used, and the potential public relations crises the Church is currently facing due to this media exposure. Analysis showed three major frames used during coverage, along with their corresponding sub-frames, which highlight certain aspects of the frame: Culture of Abuse (Imprisonment, Controlling, Family Disconnection, Exploitation of Children, Violence, and Financial Abuse), The Information Paradox (Conflicting Information, Simple Misunderstanding, and Non-Traditional Approach), and Leadership Issues (The Problem Lies with Leadership, Celebrity Obsession). Also uncovered were three potential public relations crises: The Mistreatment of Church Members, The Misuse of Funds, and Bad Communication Strategy. The research showed a strong strategic preference of the Church to use legal tactics or denial strategies when dealing with crises. A review of public relations theory suggests that the Church use a more open approach and also incorporate mortification strategies to accept blame and repair their damaged image.
Identifier: CFE0004887 (IID), ucf:49673 (fedora)
Note(s): 2013-08-01
M.A.
Sciences, Communication
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Qualitative -- Textual Analysis -- Discourse Analysis -- Public Relations Theories -- Crisis Communication -- Reputation Management -- Framing Theory -- Communications Case Study -- Scientology
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0004887
Restrictions on Access: public 2013-08-15
Host Institution: UCF

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