News Discourses on Nation Branding in Post-Communist Romania: Frames and Function Frames

Romania’s country image is one of the most controversial topics in the media over the past few years. Soon after the fall of communism in 1989, this issue became part of the public debate about the international perception of Romanian people, about the ways in which Romania is depicted in the international press, or about the country’s position in the process of Europeanization. In this context, the paper focuses on 53 news articles on Romania’s nation brand and on the national image building problem in four newspapers (Adevărul, Gândul, Jurnalul Național, Dilema Veche), published during January 2011 – March 2014. In so doing, a social-constructivist approach is employed, by combining qualitative content analysis (Schreier, 2012) with media frames analysis (Entman, 1993). The results show that four dominant frames emerge: nationalism (discourses on national identity used by the journalists), neoliberal commercialism (the marketability of nation branding initiatives), cultural values (culture as a practice involved in promoting a country), and country image (the public image of Romania internationally) frames. The Romanian journalistic discourse is built on evaluation strategies, insisting on political responsibility.

Bianca Florentina Cheregi