Keywords

Qualitative, textual analysis, discourse analysis, public relations theories, crisis communication, reputation management, framing theory, communications case study, scientology

Abstract

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.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2013

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Sandoval, Jennifer

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Communication

Degree Program

Communication; Mass Communication

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0004887

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0004887

Language

English

Release Date

August 2013

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

Restricted to the UCF community until August 2013; it will then be open access.

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