Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Scott S. Liu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Roxanne Watson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Artemio Ramirez, Ph.D.


smog air pollution, framing theory, issue-attention cycle theory, content analysis


China's smog air pollution has become an increasingly urgent environmental crisis in China. Using framing as theoretical framework, this research examined how much media attention is focused on smog air pollution and how print media frame smog air pollution. An empirical content analysis of 339 articles in the People’s Daily newspaper was conducted from 2000 to 2016, and the results showed that “non-voluntary solutions” and “problem” frames were the two frames that had been most utilized to construct stories about air pollution. Smog air pollution crisis also discussed in terms of Downs issue-attention cycle, a five-stage model explaining the rise and down of social attention to a social issue. The smog air pollution crisis in China been found that exhibiting three cycles that relate to media attention. Also, the research found that the prominence of the frames varied at different cycles. It is worth noting that the prominence of the frames moved away from the “problem “and “effects on social economic” frames to the “government responsibility,” “individual responsibility,” and the “voluntary” frames. The finding suggests that media attention and media concerns and journalists’ narrative considerations change across the different phases of development, that natural instincts, political influence, and media norms can all affect it.