Hydraulic fracturing, often called fracking, is a drilling technique that accesses previously inaccessible oil/gas reserves. Although the process could aid U.S. energy independence, it is controversial and public opinion is divided. Guided by agenda-setting and framing, this study content analyses news coverage of fracking (N = 524) across cable networks (CNN, Fox News, MSNBC). Results show cable news lacks substance and relies on thematic framing. While all networks failed to provide factual information, issue-related topics discussed and sources used vary ideologically. Theoretical and practical implications, which include the potential for priming audiences and influencing future behaviors and judgments, are discussed.
- Cable news
- Environmental journalism