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Frames in Mediated Think Tank Appearances Open Access

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Think tanks are poorly understood actors in the political process, occupying an ill-defined space between politics, academia, and the media. As political actors, think tanks produce and market a product called "expertise" on television news programs, through op-eds in newspapers and magazines, in testimony at congressional hearings, and through their own publications and events with the intention of informing and influencing the decision-making process. As non-profit organizations, think tanks are dependent upon donations and government contracts to continue their work. Previous researchers have attempted to categorize think tanks in the hope of determining why some think tanks succeed in propagating their ideas through the media while other think tanks are relegated to obscurity. This study seeks to observe frames attributed to think tanks in media during a two-month window and test whether the existing categorization of think tanks explainsthe frequency and content of their media appearances. The study's conclusion suggests that the current categorization is insufficient for describing the complex relationship between think tanks and their media appearances, requiring a new way of differentiating between think tanks.

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