This article examines the mass media's role in shaping education policy debates in light of pluralist theory and Bourdieu's social fields theory. We content analyzed the coverage of New Jersey education policy debates during 1985, when the governor moved to consolidate his power in the education field. We used quantitative framing and conflict analysis and found that the media presented educational policy debates in ways that advantaged political and economic elites and portrayed the governor as being above the political fray. On the whole, our findings conform more to Bourdieu's social fields theory than to pluralist theory.
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