Effect of Framing on Public Opinion of Minimum Wage by the Mass Media
Knabe, Albert J.
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During President Barack Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address, he claimed that he would issue an Executive Order to increase the national minimum wage for federally funded employees. This increase would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour. Given this recent push to raise the federal minimum wage, the effects of mass media on public opinion toward this issue is increasingly relevant. Has framing by news outlets influenced public opinion on increasing minimum wage? To answer this question, the two surveys conducted contained three parts each, including basic demographic questions to gauge the personal background and political leanings of each participant, excerpts from framed articles about the proposed increase in minimum wage, and last, questions designed to allow research to be conducted on the responses of the participants to the issue after exposure to the media frames. Participants are introduced to the issue through a different political frame, either in support of or in opposition to the political policy issues regarding the proposed increase in minimum wage. This research demonstrates that the politically framed topic of minimum wage influences the opinion of the participants, supporting the claim that mass media can influence public opinion through the presentation of frames to news audiences.