Framing Airline Mergers


  • Clay Craig Texas State University
  • Shannon Bichard Texas State University



The merger and acquisition process is usually examined with little attention addressing newspaper portrayals of the situation. A content analysis of 503 articles discussing the 2008 Delta/Northwest Airlines merger from the Star Tribune and Atlanta Journal-Constitution over a 21-month period was performed in order to detect framing differences. The application of social identity theory was used to examine the prominent framing variations based on in-group and out- group coverage of the merger. As expected, the newspapers focused more dominantly on the in- group airline when covering the merger and varied slightly in their framing techniques.


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