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Korean Journal of Communication Studies Volume 17 No. 4, November 28, 2009 pp. 25∼44

A Functional Analysis of the 2007 South Korean

Presidential Campaign Press Releases

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Sungwook Hwang

Assistant Professor, Department of Digital Media Myongji University

❚ Abstract

This functional analysis study examined the 2007 South Korean presidential news releases. Candidates acclaimed more than attacked (58.5% to 37.2%). Policy was discussed more often than character (63.2% to 34.0%). The incumbent party candidate Jung DongYoung more acclaimed (75.4% to 40.7%) and less attacked (24.6% to 50.5%) than the challenger Lee MyungBak. The challenger Lee MyungBak attacked more than acclaimed in past deeds (195 to 15). Candidates acclaimed more than attacked in general goals (473 to 16) and ideals (32 to 16). Simple denial (80.5%) was the most frequent defense strategy. The results indicated the extension of the Functional Theory of political campaign discourse to the recent South Korean presidential campaign press releases.

■ Key words: Functional Theory, NewsRelease,SouthKorea,PresidentialCampaign

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Introduction

Presidential campaigns, the most outstanding political campaigns, use almost all media outlets. Many political communication scholars have studied political discourses in diverse major media events or outlets during presidential campaigns by utilizing the Functional Theory of Benoit et al. (1997): U.S. presidential TV spots and primary campaign TV spots (Benoit, 1999a); U.S. presidential debates (Benoit & Harthcock, 1999; Benoit & Wells, 1996); U.S. presidential nominating acceptance addresses (Benoit, 1999b); debates in U.S. presidential primaries (Benoit et al., 2002); non U.S. presidential TV spots (Lee & Benoit, 2004); non U.S. presidential debates (Benoit & Klyukovski, 2006; Choi & Benoit, 2008; Lee & Benoit, 2005), and so on. In other words, scholars have mainly contributed to studying the political discourse patterns of media content regarding presidential campaigns.

In many cases, a practitioner’s media relations through news releases influence media content. PR researchers generally agree with that information subsidy through press releases influences media content about 25 to 50% of the time. (Cameron et al., 1997). Also, the new online technology enables presidential candidates to distribute press releases on their own Web sites. Many potential voters directly obtain information about the candidates from news releases displayed on the Web sites (Cho & Benoit, 2005). Considering the direct and indirect influences of news releases on voters’ political knowledge about candidates, analyzing the political discourse in presidential candidates’ press releases gets a good deal of scholarly attention. Two recent studies by Cho and Benoit (2005, 2006) content-analyzed press releases of the 2004 U.S. presidential candidates based on the Functional Theory. However, few studies have examined functional discourse patterns in other countries’ presidential campaign press releases.

This study examines the 2007 South Korean presidential candidates’ press releases by utilizing the Functional Theory. The purpose of the study is to test whether the consistent findings in the previous functional analysis studies regarding presidential campaigns are also applied to an unexplored public relations domain, i.e., press releases in the South Korean presidential campaign. This study will answer the question of whether the findings support an expansion of the theoretical application or reveal cultural differences. In addition to its theoretical importance, this study will help scholars and campaign managers understand the nature of the political discourse in the recent highly visible political public relations in South Korea.

Literature Review

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Then, the author introduces the trend of South Korean news releases research. Regarding the theoretical perspective in this study, the author explains the Functional Theory and previous Functional analysis studies regarding presidential TV spots, debates, and press releases. Functional Theory studies examining the U.S. presidential campaigns are mainly studied as mainstream Functional analysis studies with some Functional analysis studies regarding South Korean presidential TV spots and debates.

General Studies Regarding Candidates’ News Releases As mentioned before, scholars claimed that public relations influence news content (Cameron et al., 1997; Cutlip et al., 1985; Martin & Singletary, 1981; Schabacker, 1963). The powerful influence of public relations on media content was also observed in the public information sector by state government agencies (Turk, 1986). Taking a note of the influence of public relations, some communication scholars have examined candidates’ news releases. Lancendorfer and Lee (2003) insisted that there existed correlations between candidates’ issues in press releases and issues in media coverage during the 2002 Michigan gubernatorial campaign. Milleretal. (1998) content-analyzed presidential candidates’ press releases during the 1996 GOP presidential primary campaign. The result of the study showed that the candidates in the same party emphasized the horserace features of the election more than specific positions. Regarding candidates’ news releases in the 2000 U.S. presidential campaign, Wicks and Souley (2003) claimed that negative attacks were dominantat 72% of the 487 pressreleases on the Websites of Bush and Gore. However, their study has a limitation in evaluating the exact extent of negativity because the study did not count multiple attacks in each press release.

South Korean News Release Research As mentioned before, western news releases mostly influence the news content. Likewise, news releases are influential in a culturally different relationship between public relations practitioners and journalists. In South Korea, news releases are getting more important in terms of quantity and quality and most of daily news content is written based on the news releases offered by an organization or corporation (Oh, 2000). More specifically, 2/3 of journalists’ articles report news based on news releases (Shin, 2005). A research examining the government public relations found that major daily newspapers and economy newspapers report articles inspired from news releases in the first pages at the frequency of 25.1% and 40.4%, respectively (Seo & Kim, 2001). Similarly, college news releases function as very important reporting sources and tools for effective public relations (Kim, 2006). That is, news releases are influential in news content in South Korea.

Park (2007) summarized the principle of writing news releases. First, write like a real story. Second, emphasize important points. Third, write facts. Fourth, add an explanatory article in addition to the news releases. Fifth, write interesting titles. Sixth, write easy sentences. Seventh, do not exaggerate the content. Eighth, offer the author’s contact information. Ninth, follow the principle of 5W1H (when, where, who,

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what, why, and how). Finally, emphasize relationships with publics. When news releases have story values in essence and news media is interested in news releases in terms of time and space, news releases can become news content (Park, 2007). Also, co-operative relationship between journalists and sources normally produces positive news regarding previously scheduled events or plans, while the imbalance of power between the two groups is likely to induce negative news content for special happenings in a crisis (Park, 2007). Nam (2005) examined what factors are influential in the use of news releases by local newspapers. The study found that financial stability and the size of organization account for the use of news releases. That is, small local newspapers in financial difficulty were likely to use news releases more actively. These studies examined how news releases are reported and what factors influence the use of press releases. However, few South Korean news release studies investigated the pattern of political discourse, particularly utilizing the functional theory of political campaign discourse.

Functional Theory of Political Campaign Discourse Analyzing the themes of political discourses as coding units based on the functions and topics, Functional Theory has illuminated the nature of diverse political discourse. Functional Theory of political campaign discourse (Benoit, 1999a, 2007; Benoit et al., 1998, 2002, 2003) regards voting as a comparative act. Because voters compare candidates, candidates need to differentiate themselves from their opponents (and do so by appearing preferable to, not only different from, other candidates). Benoit insisted that political campaign messages are the means to differentiate candidates from their opponents. Further, the campaign messages have three functions to make the candidates preferable to the opponents: acclaims (positive utterances about the candidates themselves), attacks (negative utterances about the candidates’ opponents), and defenses (contradictions against the attacks from opponents). Benoit explained that these functions work together much like the process of cost-benefit analysis: acclaims increase a candidate’s benefits; attacks increase an opponent’s cost; and defenses reduce a candidate’s perceived costs. However, he cautions that voters do not mathematically calculate costs and benefits. The key point is that the political messages with the three functions influence voters’ attitude toward the candidate by arguing for the superiority of one candidate over an opponent or opponents.

Functional Theory also classifies the topics of campaign messages into the two categories: policy (issues), governmental action and problems amenable to governmental action, and character (image), characteristics of the candidate. The theory further divides the two topics: policy into past deeds, future plans, and general goals; and character into personal qualities, leadership abilities, and ideals (see the Appendix).

According to the results of the content analysis of presidential campaign TV spots from 1952 to 1996 by Benoit (1999a), U.S. presidential election TV spots used acclaim most often--on average 60% of the time. Attack was observed at 39% of the time, while defense was only used at 1% of time. 2002 South Korean presidential TV spots

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also showed the same order of acclaims (72%), attacks (27%), and defenses (0.8%) (Lee&Benoit, 2004). Summarizing the results of American presidential debates in the general election campaigns (Benoit & Brazeal, 2002; Benoit et al., 1998; Benoit & Harthcock, 1999; Benoit et al., 2003; Wells, 1999) and primary election campaigns (Benoit et al., 2002), Benoit (2007) insists that acclaims were the most frequent political message function at 55%; attacks were the second most frequent function at 35%; and candidates depended on defenses at 10%. 2002 South Korean presidential debates again supported the typical functional discourse patterns: acclaims (52%), attacks (37%), and defenses (11%).

Extending the study domain into the new area of presidential candidates’ public relations, scholars content-analyzed candidates’ press releases from the 2004 Democratic presidential primary campaign (Cho & Benoit, 2005) and the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign (Cho & Benoit, 2006). Democratic presidential candidates utilized acclaims at 70 %, attacks at 29 %, and defenses at only 1 %. Although the 2004 U.S. presidential candidates’ news releases in the general election showed almost an equal frequency of using acclaims (49.2 %) and attacks (49.3 %), presidential candidates preferred praising themselves to degrading the opponent’s weaknesses in the presidential campaigns. Benoit (1999a) explains why defenses are uncommon as follows: defenses could remind voters of the issue even though they are not aware of the attack from the opponent; the issue to be defended usually is a weakness of the candidate who was attacked and therefore needs to be avoided; and candidates want to look proactive and thus they do not want to passively defend an attacked issue. Based on the consistent functional discourse patterns, this study proposes the following hypothesis:

H1: South Korean presidential candidates will depend on acclaims, attacks, and defenses, respectively, in terms of the frequency of functional messages in their news releases.

Regarding the topics, presidential candidates discussed policy more than character: policy (60 %) and character (40 %) in U.S. presidential election TV spots (Benoit, 1999a); policy (75 %) and character (25 %) in U.S. presidential debates (Benoit, 2007); policy (55 %), character (34 %), and campaign-related topics (10 %) in news releases during the 2004 U.S. primary presidential campaign (Cho & Benoit, 2005); policy (68.8 %), character (24.9 %), and campaign-related topics (6.4 %) in news releases during the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign (Cho & Benoit, 2006); policy (63 %) and character (37 %) in the 2002 South Korean presidential debates (Lee & Benoit, 2005). Incredibly enough, the 2002 South Korean presidential TV spots discussed almost an equal number of policy and charter themes (Lee & Benoit, 2004). However, most presidential functional analysis studies showed that presidential candidates appealed voters by discussing policy more than character. Thus, the following hypothesis is developed in line with previous results:

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in their news releases.

Traditionally, incumbent presidential candidates and challengers have shown different functional patterns of political discourse. In U.S. presidential TV spots, incumbents used more acclaims than challengers (66% to 54%), while challengers attacked more than incumbents (45% to 33%) (Benoit, 1999a). Similar patterns were observed in U.S. presidential debates. That is, incumbents acclaimed more than challengers (64% to 51%), while challengers attacked more than incumbents (44% to 25%) (Benoit, 2007). In 2004 U.S. presidential campaign news releases, challenger Kerry used more attacks and less acclaims than the incumbent candidate Bush (Cho & Benoit, 2006). Similarly, 2002 South Korean presidential TV spots also showed the influence of incumbency (Lee & Benoit, 2004). Therefore, this study proposes the following hypothesis:

H3: The incumbent party candidate Jung Dong Young will use more acclaims and less attacks than the challenger Lee Myung Bak in their news releases.

Benoit (1999a) explains why incumbents acclaimed more and attacked less than challengers with incumbents’ records in office. That is, the records in office are important sources for acclaiming to incumbents themselves. On the other hand, challengers can effectively attack incumbents by pinpointing incumbents’ past records in office. In U.S. presidential TV spots, incumbents used past deeds for acclaims (57%) more than attacks (43%), while challengers used past deeds for attacks (80%) more than acclaims (20%) (Benoit, 2007). Also, American presidential incumbent candidates acclaimed (72%) more than attacked (28%) in discussing past deeds in presidential debates, while challengers attacked (82%) more than acclaimed (18%) regarding past deeds (Benoit, 2007). To be consistent with those results, Bush mainly acclaimed his past success, while Kerry heavily attacked Bush’s past failures in 2004 presidential campaign news releases (Cho & Benoit, 2006). Similarly, 2002 South Korean presidential incumbent party candidate Roh MooHyun acclaimed (60%) more than attacked (40%) regarding past deeds, while two challengers attacked (90%) more than acclaimed (10%) in discussing past deeds in the presidential debates (Lee & Benoit, 2005). H4 expects differences of functional discourse regarding past deeds in South Korean presidential campaign press releases between the incumbent party candidate and the major challenger:

H4: The incumbent party candidate Jung Dong Young will acclaim more than attack in discussing past deeds, whereas the challenger Lee Myung Bak will attack more than acclaim for past deeds.

Previous literature (Benoit, 1999a, 2007; Cho & Benoit, 2005, 2006; Lee & Benoit, 2004, 2005) also revealed that presidential candidates mainly acclaimed more than attacked in terms of general goals and ideals. Benoit (1999a) argues that general goals and ideals are often preferred and desirable and therefore candidates find it easier to acclaim than attack. Thus, this study also predicts that acclaims will be dominant in general goals and ideals as follows:

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H5: South Korean presidential candidates will acclaim more than attack in discussing general goals and ideals in their presidential campaign news releases.

In addition to these hypotheses, the author proposes the following research questions: RQ1: What are the proportions of the three forms of policy in South Korean presidential candidates’ press releases?

RQ2: What are the proportions of the three forms of character in South Korean presidential candidates’ press releases?

Finally, this study investigates defense strategies used in South Korean presidential campaign press releases based on image restoration strategies by Benoit (1995). The strategies are mainly classified as five items: denial, evade responsibility, reduce offensiveness, corrective action, and mortification. In U.S. presidential TV spots, the most frequent defense strategy was simple denial (Benoit, 1999a). Similarly, simple denial was most common as a defense strategy in the 2002 South Korean presidential debates (Lee & Benoit, 2005) as well as in the U.S. presidential debates (Benoit & Wells, 1996). Benoit and his colleagues positively argue that simple denial is easy to use and once an audience accepts the denial, the strategy removes the damage of the attack. Thus, the author proposes the following hypothesis:

H6: South Korean presidential candidates will use more a simple denial strategy than any other defense strategies (evading responsibility, reducing offensiveness, corrective action, and mortification).

Method

Sampling This study conducted a content analysis of the South Korean presidential candidates’ news releases posted on official presidential Web sites before the December 19 election. Jung Dong Young posted a total of 36 news releases from November 12 to December 17, whereas Lee Myung Bak posted a total of 71 news releases from December 10 to December 18. Each news release was unitized into themes. According to Benoit (1999a), themes showing “a coherent idea” (p. 20) could be different in terms of lengths such as a phrase or a couple of sentences. 1,803 themes were analyzed in collected press releases: 924 from Jung Dong Young and 879 from Lee Myung Bak.

The first coding category was function (acclaims, attacks, or defenses). The operational definitions are as follows (Benoit, 1999a, p. 20):

• Themes that portrayed the sponsoring candidate or the candidate’s political party in a favorable light were acclaims.

• Themes that portrayed the opposing candidate or opposing candidate’s political party in an unfavorable light were attacks.

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candidate’s political party were defenses.

• Second, themes were coded in terms of topic, which was often dichotomized into policy and character as follows (Benoit, 1999a, p. 21):

• Utterances that concerned governmental action (past, current, or future) and problems amenable to governmental action were considered policy themes.

• Utterances that addressed characteristics, traits, abilities, or attributes of the candidates (or their parties) were considered character themes.

However, since some press releases do not discuss either topic, the author added one more category of campaign-related messages referring to the operational definition by Cho and Benoit (2005, p. 178): “some releases reported candidate endorsements without providing reasons for the endorsement and some reported mere campaign process such as where and when they campaign.”

Finally, policy was classified into past deeds, future plans, or general goals. Also, character was specified into personal quality, leadership ability, or ideals (see the Appendix).

Inter-coder reliability Using Cohen’s (1960) kappa, the author analyzed 10% of total press releases with a bilingual Korean graduate student. Reliability was .94 for functions, .77 for topics, .96 for form of policy, and .74 for form of character. According to Landis and Koch (1977), these levels indicated substantial agreement (0.61-0.80) or almost perfect agreement (larger than 0.80).

Analysis Since this study dealt with the frequency data, cross tabulation and χ2test

were used for statistical analysis in SPSS 15.0.

2007 South Korean Presidential Campaign Context

Unlike the U.S. presidential system, South Korean presidents run for the office only for a single term of five years and the Korean presidential system does not have a vice president (Lee & Benoit, 2005). For the last ten years, South Korean’s ruling party with two presidents, Kim Dae Jung and Roh Moo Hyun, has executed a favorable foreign policy toward North Korea called the “sunshine policy.” (Shin, 2008). Kim Dae Jung administration aimed to break the frozen relationship between South Korea and North Korea in spite of the conservative political environment, whereas Roh Moo Hyun administration was not active for that matter in spite of a more progressive political environment (Min, 2008). Therefore, Roh administration failed to spotlight the relationship with North Korea as an outstanding political issue and the summit between South Korea and North Korea right before the presidential election did not seriously influence the presidential election campaign (Min, 2008).

Regarding the economy, Roh administration had shown a clear difference since 2003 (Min, 2008). That is, domestic markets were in serious depression (Min, 2008).

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For 2006, the domestic markets were likely to be invigorated, but the market was not for the common people (Min, 2008). This negative economic situation induced the collapse of supporters for the president Roh (Min, 2008). For the period of two regimes, the liberal incumbent party has changed its party label from the Millennium Democratic Party to Uri Party to the United New Democratic Party. The major opposition party was the conservative Grand National Party defeated in the last 1997 and 2002 presidential elections.

The incumbent party candidate Jung Dong Young was a broadcasting journalist at a major broadcasting station MBC and served as South Korean Unification Minister, while the major challenger Lee Myung Bak was a CEO at one of the largest South Korean corporations, Hyundai. He served as a mayor of Seoul, the capital of South Korea. Although twelve presidential candidates ran for the office during the 2007 South Korean presidential campaign, JungDongYoung and LeeMyungBak were the big two candidates. During the campaign, a scandal in which LeeMyungBak allegedly manipulated stock prices through a company called BBK became a hot issue. In the social contradictions, the prosecution ultimately announced Lee Myung Bak innocence. The challenger Lee Myung Bak was elected as the president by obtaining 48.7 % of the vote, whereas the incumbent party candidate Jung Dong Young gained only 26.1 % of the vote (National Election Commission, 2007).

Results

The first hypothesis predicted that South Korean presidential candidates will depend on acclaims, attacks, and defenses, respectively, in terms of the frequency of functional messages. According to Table 1, the total proportion of the functional themes of the two presidential candidates followed the expected order: acclaims (58.5 %), attacks (37.2 %), and defenses (4.3 %). A one way χ2 indicates that the

differences in frequency are significant (χ2 [df=2]=807.97, p<.0001). For example, a

former Justice Minister Kang Kum Sil, who supported Jung Dong Young, insisted that “most importantly, we contributed to the peace of the Korean peninsula and consolidated the cornerstone of unification between South Korea and North Korea.” This is clear self praise, which is an example of acclaim. On the other hand, labor union supporters in JungDongYoung’s news release attacked the major opponent by noting that “we can not forgive his anti-laborer scandals which crush people’s and laborers’ hopes, such as tax evasion, land speculation, money washing, and manipulating stock prices.” For this matter, a spokesperson in LeeMyungBak’s news release simply denied that “the prosecutors’ comprehensive investigation has already revealed that the candidate LeeMyungBak is not related to the company BBK at all.” This denial is a way of using defense.

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Table 1. Functions of South Korean Presidential News Releases

Acclaims Attacks Defenses Jung (I) 697 (75.4 %) 227 (24.6 %) 0 (0 %) Lee (C) 358 (40.7 %) 444 (50.5 %) 77 (8.8 %)

Total 1055 (58.5 %) 671 (37.2 %) 77 (4.3 %)

H2 tested whether South Korean presidential candidates will discuss more policy matters than character matters. The two major candidates clearly focused on policy (63.2 %) rather than character (34.0 %) and campaign-related issues (2.8 %). The statistical difference was significant at the p <. 0001 level (χ2 [df=2]=985.17). The

difference of frequency excluding campaign-related topics was also significant (χ2

[df=1]=157.92, p <. 0001). Thus, H2 was supported. For example, LeeMyungBak insisted that “we will increase the middle class from current 50% up to 70% and decrease young men’s unemployment rate from 8% to 4%.” This is a policy utterance regarding the economy. On the other hand, Jung Dong Young’s news release described the candidate’s character as a “candid” and “sincere” candidate (see Table 2).

Table 2. Topics of South Korean Presidential News Releases

Policy Character Campaign-related topic Jung (I) 629 (68.1 %) 280 (30.3 %) 15 (1.6 %) Lee (C) 510 (58.0 %) 333 (37.9 %) 36 (4.1 %) Total 1139 (63.2 %) 613 (34.0 %) 51 (2.8 %)

The third hypothesis predicted differences of the functions based on incumbency. As shown in Table 1, the incumbent party candidate Jung Dong Young acclaimed more than his opponent (75.4 % to 40.7 %), while the challenger Lee Myung Bak attacked more than Jung Dong Young (50.5 % to 24.6 %). The difference was significant (χ2 [df=2]=255.14, p < .0001). The results supported H3 that the incumbent party

candidate will use more acclaims and less attacks than the challenger.

H4 posited that the incumbent party candidate Jung Dong Young will acclaim more than attack in discussing past deeds, whereas the challenger Lee Myung Bak will attack more than acclaim for past deeds. That is, the fourth hypothesis examined the relationship between the functional uses of past deeds and incumbency. According to Table 3, Jung Dong Young mentioned past deeds for acclaims and attacks in a balanced way (35 acclaims to 36 attacks). On the other hand, Lee Myung Bak discussed past deeds overwhelmingly in a negative way (195 attacks to 15 acclaims). The differences by incumbency were significant (χ2 [df=2]=64.94, p <

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Table 3. Forms of Policy and Character in South Korean Presidential News Releases Policy Character PD FP GG PQ LA ID AC AT DF AC AT DF AC AT AC AT DF AC AT AC AT Jung 35 36 0 215 7 0 320 16 77 155 0 9 0 26 13 Lee 15 195 1 80 63 3 153 0 62 182 73 6 1 6 3 Total 50 231 1 295 70 3 473 16 139 337 73 15 1 32 16 282 (24.8 %) 368 (32.3 %) 489 (42.9 %) 549 (89.6 %) 16 (2.6 %) 48 (7.8 %)

Note: PD: past deeds; FP: future plans; GG: general goals; PQ: personal qualities; LA: leadership ability; ID: ideals; AC: acclaims; AT: attacks; and DF: defenses.

Specifically, MB often attacked the former regimes’ failure and mistakes regarding economy policy, education policy, and foreign policy with North Korea. Also, MB attacked the former regimes’ propaganda maneuvers. Since this study did not directly analyze the daily, weekly, or monthly change of the issue attacks, this study cannot offer statistical clues in explaining the trend. However, it was outstanding that MB intensively attacked economic failure by the former regime during the campaign. The following parts of news releases are examples of MB’s attacks for past deeds:

Making jobs is the beginning of favorable business environment for companies, the center of our economy. (The former regime) cut the flow of economy and DY now insists to improve corporate environment and to make jobs. Does he know the fact or not? Didn’t he do anything though he knew?

Private education fee was not reduced. Private education market is dramatically growing. That is, the former regime produced the triangle of death in education. The regime’s college admission system let students regard their friends as enemy because the regime did not consider the differences and characteristics of schools. Wrong admission systems increased the burden of students’ study and their parents’ private education fee and further destroyed (public) schools’ education

We must not give one more opportunity for the left favorable for North Korea to manage South Korea. The former regimes unconditionally gave South Korean people’s precious tax to the North Korean Kim Jung Il administration

Populism (propaganda maneuvers) by the former regimes frustrated South Korean people’s hope, development, and happiness for the last decade and we must finalize the left on coming December, 19th.

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The next hypothesis predicted that South Korean presidential candidates will discuss general goals and ideals more to acclaim than to attack. Both candidates overwhelmingly used general goals to acclaim more than to attack (473 to 16). A one way χ2 indicated that the difference was significant (χ2 [df=1]=427.09, p < .0001).

Regarding ideals, candidates also preferred acclaims to attacks (32 to 16). The difference was significant at p < .05 (χ2 [df=1]=5.33), supporting H5 (see Table3).

RQ1 examined the proportions of the three forms of policy in South Korean presidential news releases. According to Table 3, the most frequent form of policy was general goals (42.9 %), followed by future plans (32.3 %) and past deeds (24.8 %). The result of one-way χ2 test indicated that the three forms of policy did not occur with

equal frequency (χ2 [df=2]=56.97, p<.0001). That is, candidates focused on emphasizing

future-oriented policies or directions rather than performances in the past.

RQ2 investigated the proportions of the three forms of character in South Korean presidential news releases. As shown in Table 3, the most frequent form of character was personal qualities (89.6 %), followed by ideals (7.8 %) and leadership ability (2.6 %). A one-way χ2 test indicated that the three forms of character were statistically

different in terms of frequency (χ2 [df=2]=874.57, p <. 0001). Both candidates actively

attacked each other’s personal qualities (155 by JungDongYoung and 182 by LeeMyungBak). For example, JungDongYoung pinpointed LeeMyungBak’s morality issue around manipulating stock prices, whereas LeeMyungBak noted that “the incumbent party and its candidate JungDongYoung degrade the prosecution (who gave the verdict of guiltlessness to LeeMyungBak) for a political purpose by fair means or foul.” This criticized the incumbent party and its candidate’s personal attribute. The frequency of defenses (73) in personal qualities by the challenger LeeMyungBak produced functional differences in the discussion of personal qualities between the two candidates (χ2 [df=2]=65.18, p < .0001).

The final hypothesis predicted that South Korean presidential candidates will use a more simple denial strategy than any other defense strategies (evading responsibility, reducing offensiveness, corrective action, and mortification). Only challenger Lee Myung Bak showed in total 77 defenses for attacks from the opponent. As predicted, simple denial (62) was the most frequent, followed by reducing offensiveness strategy (15). A one-way χ2 test indicated that the frequency was statistically different (χ2 [df

=1]=28.69, p < .0001). Thus, H6 was supported.

Discussion

This study examined the Functional political discourse in the 2007 South Korean presidential news releases to answer whether the unexplored political public relations domain shows findings consistent with the previous functional analysis studies

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regarding diverse presidential campaign media. All the supported hypotheses indicated the extension of the Functional Theory of political campaign discourse to the recent South Korean presidential campaign press releases. However, this study also found some unique results. This section discusses meanings of conventional results and possible reasons for some unconventional findings.

South Korean presidential candidates used acclaims most often, followed by attacks and defenses. As indicated earlier, acclaims do not have drawbacks. Attacks have some risk of backlash because voters do not like mudslinging (Merritt, 1984; Stewart, 1975). Also, defenses have three weaknesses (Benoit, 1999a). First, candidates do not want to remind voters of issues that were attacked by opponents because voters might not know about the issues. In other words, candidates do not want to identify the attacked issues for defenses. Second, candidates want to emphasize their own issues in strength. In many cases, attacked issues are opponents’ strong issues. Thus, candidates want to stay on their own messages rather than discussing their opponents’ strong issues. Finally, defenses look passive rather than proactive from voters’ perspectives. Considering the rationale, the functional order is reasonable.

Clearly, South Korean presidential news releases discussed policy more than character. Policy-dominated discourse patterns have been observed in previous literature. That is, candidates and their campaign managers invested more time and efforts for substantial policy appeal rather than ambiguous character (image) issues in the presidential campaign news releases.

The influence of incumbency on functional messages was again observed. For example, the incumbent party candidate Jung Dong Young acclaimed the successful policy execution of the Roh Moo Hyun government such as the peaceful sunshine policy toward North Korea. That is, the incumbent party candidate pursued a positive halo effect by spotlighting the past successes. Much more clearly, the challenger Lee Myung Bak attacked the failure of the economic policies instituted by the current government. As Benoit (1999a) would argue, the challenger fully utilized the incumbent party and its government office record as sources of persuasive attacks.

Both candidates also acclaimed more than attacked in discussing general goals and ideals. General goals and ideals are not specific but abstract. Moreover, in most cases, the content is desirable enough for people to agree with. Therefore, candidates should have been easier to acclaim for general goals and ideals rather than to attack (Benoit, 2007). For example, candidates commonly acclaimed economic growth as an example of general goals while keeping laws and principles as an example of ideals. This again is consistent with previous functional analysis studies.

Regarding defense strategies, the most frequent strategy was simple denial as predicted. Lee Myung Bak thoroughly denied that he had any connection to manipulating stock prices. As a result, his denial strategy seemed to work for voters. According to the last opinion poll results right before the election, Lee Myung Bak

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maintained his support of over 40 % (Jeon, 2007). Simple denial strategy seems to be cost effective because it lessens the damage from attacks once voters accept the excuse (Benoit, 1999a). However, simple denial strategy in news releases is not always effective. Corporate communication environment can be more complex and diverse. For example, a South Korean tobacco company KT & G often showed bolstering, attacking accuser, transcendence, and corrective action (Lee, 2007), but not simple denial. The study found that transcendence and bolstering were most effective for the image restoration of the tobacco company. Therefore, simple denial is often effective in political communication, but is not a panacea for corporate crisis communication.

To sum up, the results above consolidate the Functional Theory of political campaign discourse by extending it into the 2007 South Korean presidential campaign news releases. However, the theoretical application was not entirely perfect. For example, according to the result of H4, the incumbent party candidate Jung Dong Young showed almost an equal frequency of acclaims and attacks in past deeds. Based on the previous literature, he should have acclaimed more than attacked in discussing past deeds. The author suggests that this results from a relatively weak incumbency in South Korean presidential system unlike the American presidential system. As Lee & Benoit (2005) noted, South Korean presidents run for only a single term. Therefore, strictly speaking, none of candidates are real incumbent candidates although there is an incumbent party candidate. That is, although Jung Dong Young as the incumbent party candidate partly pursued the halo effect by emphasizing the past success of the ruling party and its government, he could not have over stated his acclaim for what the government had done because he was part of the government at the time. This weak incumbency might have produced the equal frequency of acclaims and attacks in past deeds by the incumbent party candidate.

Interestingly, candidates focused on emphasizing future plans and general goals more than past deeds. Again, this study notes that a reason for this is that the South Korean presidential system allows only a single term of office for the president. That is, candidates without presidential office records have a limitation in talking about past deeds. Accordingly, discussion of future-oriented policy issues would be easier for both candidates. This phenomenon is different from the general results in the American presidential campaigns: past deeds were discussed most often in terms of policy topic (Benoit, 1999a).

Another interesting result is the frequent discussion about personal qualities (89.6 %) in character issues. The rumor around manipulating stock prices became a hot issue during the campaign in South Korea (Kim, 2007). The fact that attacks regarding personal qualities took part in 61.4% of the total functional discourse in personal qualities indicates that negative campaigns regarding personal qualities were ongoing by both candidates. As the one directly involved in the hot issue, LeeMyungBak seemed to have difficulty ignoring the attacks. Therefore, he chose

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defenses in spite of the possible weaknesses that this study has already explained. Many American presidential campaigns show that incumbents often defend rather than challengers (Benoit, 2007), while the 2007 South Korean presidential news releases only showed the challenger’s defenses. This study posits that this phenomenon resulted from the negative campaigning around the rumor of manipulating stocks.

Conclusion

The results of this study indicate three main points. Most importantly, the Functional Theory of political campaign discourse is extended to the new political domain, i.e., the 2007 South Korean presidential campaign news releases. This theoretical extension is the key point that this study argues. However, as Lee & Benoit (2005) noted, a weak incumbency resulting from the political system should be noted as a factor producing unconventional functional discourse in the presidential campaign. Thirdly, this study interprets that the South Korean presidential candidates overall emphasized policy appeals to voters, while both candidates were also executing negative campaigns regarding personal qualities at the same time. This is an exact summary of the campaign.

Although this study examined all news releases by the major South Korean presidential candidates during the campaign, this study did not examine what specific policies were discussed. Examining the subtopics of policy between the two candidates could bring about a more exact insight into understanding the substance of policy, which could be a natural next step. Also, studying functional discourse in other countries’ presidential news releases could extend the theoretical application. Finally, comparing culturally different presidential news releases based on the functional approach will not only broaden the research stream of the Functional Theory but help us understand the cultural differences in contemporary political strategic communication.

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Received : Aug 30, 2009 Revised : Nov 16, 2009 Published: Nov 28, 2009

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Appendix: Acclaims and Attacks on the Forms of Policy and Character

1. Policy

Acclaim on Past Deed: “South and North Korean leaders have met and discussed for a unified Korea.” (Jung Dong Young)

Attack on Past Deed: “We should terminate the left faction which has spoiled people’s hope, development, and happiness for the last ten years.” (Lee Myung Bak)

Acclaim on Future Plan: “I will create jobs for the old by employing 40 thousand silver police in order to protect the safety of 10 thousand elementary, middle, and high schools in the nation.” (Jung Dong Young)

Attack on Future Plan: “He suggests a more nonsensical education policy that abolishes the college entrance exam.” (Lee Myung Bak)

Acclaim on General Goal: “I pursue an economic growth without discrimination and an era for which every family feels happy.” (Jung Dong Young)

Attack on General Goal: “If Grand National Party becomes a ruling party, three values (an entirely free country, a peaceful country, and a clean country) will be severely damaged.” (Jung Dong Young)

2. Character

Acclaim on Personal Qualities: “He is clean and flies right.” (Jung Dong Young)

Attack on Personal Qualities: “The corrupted, unpredictable, and unstable candidate should not lead this country.” (Jung Dong Young)

Acclaim on Leadership Ability: “The candidate Lee Myung Bak has been the mayor of Seoul with more than 10million citizens for even four years”(Lee Myung Bak)

Attack on Leadership Ability: “The amateur without any experience (as a leader) cannot advance the world 11th largest economic country.”(Lee Myung Bak)

Acclaim on Ideals: “He has a true will for freedom and democracy.” (Jung Dong Young)

Attack on Ideals: “We think that Lee Myung Bak with the mind of a cold war is the most inappropriate as a leader for this country.” (Jung Dong Young)

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❚ 국문초록

제 17대 대통령 선거 보도자료에 나타난 기능적 담론 분석

황성욱 명지대학교 디지털미디어학과 조교수 본 연구는 2007년 한국 대통령선거 캠페인의 보도자료에 나타난 기능적 담론의 유형을 분석 하였다. 분석 결과, 주요 후보였던 정동영 그리고 이명박 후보의 담론에 있어서 주장이 가장 많 이 관찰되었고 공격의 빈도가 그 뒤를 이었다 (58.5% 대 37.2%). 정책은 인물보다 더 많이 토 론되었다 (63.2% 대 34.0%). 여당이었던 대통합 민주신당의 정동영 후보는 도전자인 이명박 후 보보다 더 많은 주장의 담론을 보였으나 (75.4% 대 40.7%) 공격의 빈도는 상대적으로 작았다 (24.6% 대 50.5%). 도전자 이명박 후보는 과거 행동과 관련하여 주장 보다는 공격의 수사를 빈 번히 사용하였다 (195회 대 15회). 양대 후보들은 일반목표 (473회 대 16회)와 이상(32회 대 16 회)을 논할 때 공격보다는 주장에 더 많은 빈도를 보여 주었다. 방어의 전략 중에서는 단순 부 인이 가장 자주 이용되었다 (80.5%). 이와 같은 결과들은 전통적인 기능이론의 결과들과 일치 하여 해당 이론의 최근 한국 대선 보도자료로의 적용 범위 확장이라는 암시점을 제공한다. ■ 주제어: 기능이론, 대통령 선거 캠페인, 보도자료

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언론과학연구|제9권3호(2009.9)|70~102面|70

서울시장 선거 텔레비전 토론 참가 후보자의

캠페인 수사에 관한 신문 보도 분석

*

:

스트레이트와 녹취록 비교를 중심으로1) 김 춘 식**․전 영 란*** (한국외국어대학교 언론정보학부 교수) (한국외국어대학교 언론정보연구소 연구원) 1995년, 1998년, 2002년, 2006년 네 차례의 서울시장선거 텔레비전 토론에서 후보 자들이 언급한 캠페인 수사에 관한 신문보도가 어떠한지를 내용분석 연구방법을 통 해 살폈다. 특히 신문의 기사를 녹취록과 스트레이트의 두 가지로 나누어 기사 유형 에 따라 후보자의 수사에 관한 보도내용이 어떻게 다른지도 함께 분석했다. 텔레비전 토론(8,132건)과 신문의 보도(1,132건)에서 확인된 9,263건의 의미단락을 분석단위로 삼아 비교한 결과, 텔레비전 토론은 후보자 자신의 장점을 강조하는 언급이, 그리고 이에 관한 신문 보도는 상대 후보를 공격하거나 상대 후보의 공격을 반박하는 언급 이 상대적으로 더 많았다. 이러한 차이는 녹취록보다는 스트레이트 기사에서 더 분명 히 드러났다. 반면, 수사의 주제(정책, 인간적 특성)는 텔레비전 토론과 신문 보도 사 이에 유의한 차이가 없는 것으로 나타났다. 역대 서울시장 선거에서 가장 빈번하게 언급된 정책은 정치, 경제, 개발이었다.

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서울시장 선거 텔레비전 토론 참가 후보자의 캠페인 수사에 관한 신문 보도 분석|71 주제어: 텔레비전 토론, 서울시장선거, 캠페인 수사, 주장, 공격, 방어, 정책, 인간적 특성, 내용분석

1. 문제의 제기 및 연구 목적

선거상황에서 후보자와 유권자 사이의 커뮤니케이션은 매우 중요하다. 정치 인과 유권자의 면대면 커뮤니케이션을 통한 선거정보 학습이 가장 이상적이지 만(Berelson, Lazarsfeld & McPhee, 1986), 오늘날과 같은 미디어 중심의 정치적 환 경에서 선거 정보는 언론을 통해 유권자에게 전달된다. 선거 과정에서 언론의 중요성은 대부분의 유권자들이 인식하고 있는 캠페인 현실은 매스미디어에서 보여주는 캠페인 버전과 거의 차이가 없다는 패터슨(Patterson, 1980)의 지적에 잘 나타나 있다. 따라서 언론이 선거라는 정치적 현실을 어떻게 구성하는가는 매우 중요한 문제이다. 우리나라의 경우 1994년에 제정된 공직선거법에 따라 1995년에 실시된 제1 회 전국동시지방선거에서 서울시장선거에 출마한 후보자들을 대상으로 최초 의 텔레비전 토론이 이루어졌다. 현재의 선거법은 시․도지사 선거의 경우 후 보자 1인 또는 여러 명을 초청하여 1회 이상 텔레비전 토론회를 의무적으로 개최하도록 강제했다. 이러한 법조항은 텔레비전 토론이 후보자의 정책이나 인간적 특성을 비교할 수 있는 중요한 정보를 제공하는 캠페인 수단이라는 학 자들(Benoit, McKinney & Holbert, 2001; Benoit, McKinney & Stephenson, 2002; Pfau & Eveland, 1994)의 주장과 무관하지 않다.

1952년부터 2000년까지 미국 유권자의 선거정보 습득 경로를 분석한 전국 선거 연구(National Election Studies)에 따르면 텔레비전(82%)은 가장 중요한 정 보원이었다. 이외에도 가족이나 친지 혹은 친구와 같은 주변 사람과의 대화

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언론과학연구|제9권3호(2009.9)|70~102面|72

이었다. 물론 신문·라디오·텔레비전 토론으로부터 선거정보를 얻는다는 응답 자의 수는 눈에 띄게 감소하는 반면, 유권자 사이의 정치 토론을 주요 정보원 으로 꼽은 유권자의 비율은 시간의 흐름에 따라 눈에 띄게 증가한다는 보고 (Benoit & Hansen, 2004)가 있지만, 우리나라에서 텔레비전 토론은 대통령선거, 국회의원선거, 지방선거에서 의무적으로 실시해야 하는 만큼 매우 중요한 캠 페인 수단이다. 이는 최근 실시된 몇 차례의 대통령선거에서 텔레비전 토론이 유권자의지지 후보 결정에 가장 큰 영향을 미친 미디어 선거캠페인이라는 연 구결과에서도 확인된다. 2003년에 실시된 한 전국설문조사에 따르면 지난 1997년과 2002년 대통령 선거에서 유권자의 지지 후보 결정에 가장 큰 영향을 미친 미디어 선거캠페인 은 텔레비전 토론(31.3% 대 22.8%)이었으며, 신문 보도(21.8% 대 18%)가 그 뒤 를 이었다. 이외에도 주변 사람과의 대화(21% 대 12.6%) 그리고 텔레비전 뉴스 (14% 대 20.4%) 및 텔레비전 정치연설(4.5% 대 16.2%) 등이 중요한 선거정보원 이었다(양승찬, 2003). 이러한 조사결과를 고려하면 서울시장 선거의 경우에도 마찬가지로 텔레비전 토론은 물론 이에 관한 신문의 보도 또한 중요한 정보원 이라는 것을 추론할 수 있다. 1976년 미국 대통령선거 텔레비전 토론에 관한 언론 보도의 효과를 검증한 랭 부부(Lang & Lang, 1984)의 연구에 따르면, 후보자에 대한 평가는 언론의 논 평보도를 접한 유권자와 그렇지 않은 유권자 사이에 분명한 차이가 있었다. 언론의 논평보도가 유권자의 후보자 평가에 미치는 효과는 스티퍼(Steeper, 1980)의 연구에서도 확인되는데, 그에 따르면 절반 이상의 유권자가 언론의 논 평에 노출된 후 자신의 의사결정을 변경한 것으로 나타났다. 결과적으로 텔레 비전 토론에 대한 언론의 보도는 텔레비전 토론에 대한 시청자의 지각에 영향 을 미친다고 결론지을 수 있다(Hellweg, Pfau & Brydon, 1992).

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서울시장 선거 텔레비전 토론 참가 후보자의 캠페인 수사에 관한 신문 보도 분석|73 연구의 필요성은 그 가치가 충분하다고 여겨진다. 이 연구는 텔레비전 토론에 나타난 후보자의 캠페인 수사를 분석하기 위해 베노이트(Benoit)의 후보자 분 석틀을 사용하고자 한다. 선거 기간 동안 이루어진 후보자의 정치 담론을 캠 페인 수사의 목적(주장, 공격, 방어)과 주제(정책, 인간적 특성)의 두 차원으로 나누어 분석하는 이 틀은 텔레비전 토론(Benoit, 2007)에 나타난 후보자의 캠페 인 수사의 분석에 널리 사용되고 있다. 이러한 배경 하에 이 연구는 텔레비전 토론이 처음 허용된 1995년을 시작으로 1998년, 2002년, 2006년 등 모두 네 차 례의 서울 시장 선거에서 방영된 텔레비전 토론을 분석대상으로 삼아, 텔레비 전 토론에서 후보자들이 언급한 캠페인 수사를 신문이 어떻게 보도했는지를 내용분석 연구방법을 통해 살펴보고자 한다. 아울러 신문의 기사를 녹취록과 스트레이트의 두 가지로 나누어 기사 유형에 따라 후보자의 수사에 관한 보도 가 다른지도 함께 분석하고자 한다.

2. 문헌연구

1) 텔레비전 토론과 미디어 환경 선거 환경에서 유권자는 비교를 통해 여러 명의 후보자 가운데 ‘더 나을 것 같은’(appears preferable) 한 명의 후보를 선택하는데, 이러한 의사결정은 유권자 의 태도 혹은 유권자가 습득한 정보에 근거하여 이루어진다(Benoit, 2007). 따라 서 선거에서 이기기 위해서는 유권자로 하여금 자신이 다른 후보보다 너 나은 정치인이라고 지각하게 해야 한다. 특히 후보들에 대한 유권자의 인지도나 지 지율이 비슷하고 정책에서 특별히 다른 점이 없다면, 텔레비전 토론에서 언급 된 메시지는 다른 후보들과 자신을 차별화하여 유권자의 호감을 살 수 있는 매우 중요한 수단이 될 수 있다.

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언론과학연구|제9권3호(2009.9)|70~102面|74

상호작용과정으로 요약될 수 있다(Ansolabehere, Behr, & Iyengar, 1993). 시간이라 는 변인을 추가하여 이들 간의 관계를 도식화하면 <그림 1>과 같다. 유권자 는 세 가지 경로를 통해 후보자의 캠페인 메시지에 노출된다. 먼저, 유권자가 직접 후보자의 캠페인 메시지를 접하는 경우이다(경로 1). 이러한 노출은 텔레 비전 토론이나 정치광고, 후보자 연설문이나 인터넷 홈페이지, 선거공보 등을 통해 이루어진다. 아울러 후보자의 캠페인 메시지는 언론이 전하는 뉴스(경로 3)는 물론 친구나 가족 혹은 직장 동료들과의 의견 교환(경로 6)을 통해서도 유 권자에게 전달된다. 가령, 유권자는 텔레비전 토론에서 후보자가 언급한 캠페 인 수사를 텔레비전 토론 시청(경로 1)이나 텔레비전 토론에 관한 뉴스 노출 (경로 3) 혹은 텔레비전 토론을 시청하거나 이에 관한 뉴스를 접한 유권자와의 의견 교환(경로 6)을 통해 학습한다. 핵심은 선거캠페인을 둘러 싼 미디어 환 경은 매우 역동적이지만 유권자가 학습하는 다양한 정보의 원천은 후보자가 직접 전파하는 메시지라는 점이다. 후보자 메시지 (텔레비전 토론, 정치광고, 연설) 뉴스 미디어 (텔레비전 뉴스, 신문 뉴스) 정치 토론 (친구, 가족, 직장 동료와의 대화) 유권자 1 2 3 4 5 6 <그림 1> 미국 대통령선거 캠페인 정보의 흐름

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서울시장 선거 텔레비전 토론 참가 후보자의 캠페인 수사에 관한 신문 보도 분석|75 2) 언론의 선거보도: 전략 중심의 보도 선거캠페인과 관련하여 언론의 중요성은 선거에 관한 유권자의 인식이 언 론에서 들려주고 보여주는 캠페인 버전에서 크게 벗어나지 않는다는 패터슨 (Patterson, 1980)의 지적에 잘 나타나있다. 패터슨은 선거뉴스란 “무엇을 관찰 하고 보도할 것인지, 보도기사의 다양한 부준 중 어느 부분을 강조할 것인지 에 대해 뉴스 조직이 내린 일련의 의사결정의 결과”(p. 9)라고 정의했다. 이러 한 정의에 따르면 선거에 관한 언론의 보도내용을 분석함으로써 언론이 무엇 을 중시하고 어떤 것에 덜 관심을 두는지를 추론할 수 있다. 유권자들은 정치를 지도자 선택과 문제해결의 수단으로 바라보지만, 언론인 은 선거를 전략적 게임(a strategic game)으로 간주한다(Patterson, 1993). 따라서 언론인들은 선거 중에 새로운 정보를 접하게 되면 전략적인 틀 속에서 어떤 후보가 유리한 경쟁을 벌이는지 해석하려는 경향이 강하다. 실제 언론의 선거 보도는 승패가 가장 큰 관심사이고, 전쟁이나 게임 혹은 경쟁에 관한 언어를 사용하며, 후보자의 연기나 스타일 등에 중점을 두며, 여론조사의 결과나 후보 자의 평가 순위에 가장 많은 관심을 둔다(Jamieson, 1992). 패터슨(1980)은 1976년 미국 대통령선거에 관한 언론의 보도를 분석한 후, 분석대상 기사의 51~58%가 게임의 관점(누가 이기고 지고 있는지, 그리고 후 보자의 캠페인 전략에 관한 것처럼)에서 작성되었으며, 후보자의 이슈나 정책, 리더십이나 능력에 관한 기사는 28~32%에 불과하다고 보고했다. 즉, 언론은 후보자들의 입장이 분명히 갈리는 이슈들에 보다 많은 지면과 시간을 할애했 는데, 이는 갈등적 사안에 상대적으로 더 높은 뉴스 가치를 부여하는 언론인 들의 뉴스 생산 관행이 반영된 결과라고 패터슨은 해석했다.

또한 1960년부터 1992년까지의 New York Times의 1면에 게재된 기사를 무 작위 표집하여 기사를 틀지웠던 스키마 틀을 분석한 그의 연구에 따르면 1960 년 이후의 선거보도에서 선거를 게임으로 바라보는 게임스키마(game schema)가

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언론과학연구|제9권3호(2009.9)|70~102面|76 았다. 특히 이 기간 동안 후보자의 정책이나 리더십 능력을 비교분석하는 통 치스키마(governing schema)의 관점에서 작성된 기사는 50%이상에서 20%이하로 감소한 것으로 나타났다. 즉, 기사의 대부분이 후보자의 게임 상황과 캠페인 전략에 초점을 맞추어 경마 저널리즘을 부추기는 것들이었다. 종합하면, 매스 미디어는 선거 상황에서 유권자로 하여금 정당과 후보자가 어떤 존재이며, 그들이 주장하는 이슈의 구체적인 내용이 무엇인지를 학습하 게 하는(voter learning) 긍정적인 역할을 수행한다(Iyengar & Simon, 2000). 하지만 언론은 유권자의 관심을 끌기 위해 선거 캠페인을 게임의 관점에서 바라보고 (Patterson, 1993; Zaller, 1998), 정당 간 혹은 후보자 간의 갈등만을 중점적으로 보도하며(김춘식․이강형, 2008), 유권자로 하여금 정치에 대해 냉소적이 되게 하여(Cappella & Jamieson, 1996) 유권자의 투표 참여를 저해한다(‘탈동원 효과’ demobilization effect)(Ansolabehere, Iyengar, Simon, & Valentino, 1994)는 비판 또한 학자들에 의해 제기되고 있다.

3. 텔레비전 토론의 후보자 수사와 언론의 보도

1) 수사의 목적: 주장, 공격, 방어 수사학자인 베노이트는 텔레비전 토론이나 정치광고 그리고 정치인의 연설 에 담긴 캠페인 메시지를 분석하기 위한 접근방법으로 기능 이론(functional theory)을 제기하면서, 후보자가 구사한 수사의 기본적인 목적을 주장(acclaim), 공격(attack), 방어(defense)의 세 가지로 구분했다(Benoit, 2007).1)

1) 스피치 학자인 파멜라 베노이트(Pamela Benoit, 1997)에 따르면 주장은 화자의 평판을 높이기 위한 “긍정적 자기표현(positive self-presentation)”(p. 16)으로 후보자가 가장 보편적으로 사용하는 수사방식 이다.1) 공격은 상대 후보가 공직에 적합하지 않기 때문에 그(녀)에게 투표를 하지 말아야 할 이유

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서울시장 선거 텔레비전 토론 참가 후보자의 캠페인 수사에 관한 신문 보도 분석|77 대통령선거 텔레비전 토론에 나타난 후보자의 담론을 분석한 연구들은 모 든 토론에서 후보자는 부정적인 담론보다는 긍정적인 담론을 더 많이 구사했 지만,2) 텔레비전 토론에 관한 언론의 보도는 텔레비전 토론에서 후보자가 언 급한 수사의 목적과는 차이가 있다고 보고하고 있다. 베노이트는 1996년과 2000년의 대통령선거 텔레비전 토론의 내용과 이에 관한 언론(신문과 방송)의 뉴스보도를 분석한 연구(Benoit & Curie, 2001)에서 신문과 방송의 뉴스가 후보 자의 긍정적 주장보다 상대후보를 공격하는 내용을 훨씬 많이 보도했다는 결 과를 제시했다. 하지만 우리나라의 경우 미국의 연구결과와는 부분적으로 차 이가 있다(김춘식․전영란, 2005). 이 연구에 따르면 1997년 대통령선거의 경우 텔레비전 토론은 신문의 보도보다 주장(61.3% 대 43.6%)에 관한 내용이 상대 적으로 더 많았고, 공격(29.1% 대 42.5%)과 방어(9.6% 대 13.9%)에 관한 내용은 상대적으로 더 적었으며 통계적으로도 유의한 차이를 보였지만, 2002년에는 텔레비전 토론과 신문의 보도에 나타난 후보자의 수사는 주장(61.8% 대 62.6%), 공격(27.4% 대 28.2%), 방어(10.8% v. 9.1%)의 순으로 두 매체 사이에 유의미한 차이를 발견되지 않았다고 보고했다. 한국과 미국 두 나라 사이에, 그리고 한국의 경우 1997년과 2002년 사이에 텔레비전 토론의 후보자 수사에 관한 언론의 보도가 차이를 보인 것은 신문의 보도 관행에서 비롯될 가능성이 높다고 선행연구(김춘식․전영란, 2005)는 지 적하고 있다. 미국과 달리 우리나라의 경우 정치적 편향이라는 우려를 불식시 키기 위해 후보자들의 텔레비전 토론 내용을 지상중계라는 형식을 통해 비교 적 충실하게 보도하고 있기 때문이다. 가령, 선행연구는 조선일보, 중앙일보, 을 회복하기 위한 시도이다(Benoit, 2007).

2) 미국의 경우 1960년의 이른 바 ‘대 토론’(Nixon v. Kennedy)(Benoit & Harthcock, 1999)은 물론, 1988년 (Bush v. Dukakis)(Benoit & Brazeal, 2002) 토론과, 역대 부통령 후보자 토론(1976년, 1984~2004년)을 분석한 연구(Benoit & Airne, 2005) 모두 일관된 결과를 보고하고 있다. 우리나라의 경우에도 마찬가 지이다. 우리나라의 텔레비전 대통령선거 토론에서 후보자가 언급한 수사를 분석한 연구에 따르 면 1997년과 2007년 텔레비전 토론 모두 수사의 목적은 주장(61.3% v. 61.6%)이 가장 많았으며, 다

수치

Table  1.  Functions  of  South  Korean  Presidential  News  Releases

Table 1.

Functions of South Korean Presidential News Releases p.10
Table  2.  Topics  of  South  Korean  Presidential  News  Releases

Table 2.

Topics of South Korean Presidential News Releases p.10
Table  3.  Forms  of  Policy  and  Character  in  South  Korean  Presidential  News  Releases Policy Character PD FP GG PQ LA ID AC AT DF AC AT DF AC AT AC AT DF AC AT AC AT Jung 35 36 0 215 7 0 320 16 77 155 0 9 0 26 13 Lee 15 195 1 80 63 3 153 0 62 182 7

Table 3.

Forms of Policy and Character in South Korean Presidential News Releases Policy Character PD FP GG PQ LA ID AC AT DF AC AT DF AC AT AC AT DF AC AT AC AT Jung 35 36 0 215 7 0 320 16 77 155 0 9 0 26 13 Lee 15 195 1 80 63 3 153 0 62 182 7 p.11

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