Two Sides of the Same Coin? Analysis of the Web‐based Social Media with Regard to the Image of the Agri‐food Sector in Germany

The agri‐food industry has improved its productivity, especially in developed countries, in an unparalleled way. This development has, however, estranged the agri‐food sector in parts from society over the years. Never before has food been as safe and secure, but simultaneously, society has become increasingly critical towards agricultural and food related issues. In the following, this two‐sided development between society and agribusiness ‐ the existence of two sides of the same coin ‐ will be analyzed using framing theory, which is based on media research that complex issues are simplified and reduced in order to improve understanding. An innovative technique was applied, analyzing the web‐based social media in Germany. 50,931 web posts were collected in German web discussion forums and weblogs covering 21 issues identified as relevant in the public discourse with regard to the agri‐food sector. All posts were analyzed with quantitative semantic software to characterize the respective framing. The results show that all contentious issues are mainly framed in a two‐sided way. The modern productivity‐driven agrifood industry is judged as a negative development, and trends returning towards a more natural food production are seen as positive.

Schiefer, Gerhard
Fritz, Melanie
Rickert, Ursula
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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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ISBN 978-3-941766-03-7 (Other)
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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