Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Framed? Judicialization and the Risk of Negative Episodic Media Coverage

63 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2017  

Jeb Barnes

University of Southern California - Department of Political Science

Parker R. Hevron

Texas Womans University

Date Written: October 17, 2017

Abstract

Activists on the left and the right have increasingly turned to the courts to make policy, raising questions about the potential risks of judicialization. One possibility is that litigation is more prone to negative episodic media coverage than alternative modes of policymaking. Using across and within-policy area comparisons of stories about the Federal Black Lung Program, collective asbestos litigation strategies, and individual asbestos tort suits, we find that coverage becomes steadily more episodic and critical as it focuses on policy regimes that feature increasing amounts of adversarial legalism. Moreover, even the broadest coverage of asbestos litigation fails to explain why victims of asbestos turned to the courts, how powerful interests constrained their policy options, or how judges urged Congress to act. This limited and relatively critical anecdotal reporting implies that litigation may engender less favorable media coverage than its alternatives and that activists should weigh this risk when deciding to litigate.

Keywords: judicialization, tort tales, media, episodic coverage, asbestos, black lung

JEL Classification: Z18

Suggested Citation

Barnes, Jeb and Hevron, Parker R., Framed? Judicialization and the Risk of Negative Episodic Media Coverage (October 17, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3054647

Jeb Barnes (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Department of Political Science ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Parker Hevron

Texas Womans University ( email )

304 Administration Drive
Denton, TX 76204
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
6
Abstract Views
61