From the book:

"In our model of framing contests, the agents who are trying to shape the discourse are overwhelmingly collective actors -- state and party actors, churches, grassroots advocacy organizations and networks, and other civil society actors. In order to reconstruct the backstage of the media forum, we thought it wise to solicit their own understanding of the process and their view of mass media discourse, asking about their strategies for influencing the media, their activities and resources. We focused our attention on groups that were significant in Act Three -- that is, from 1989 to 1994 -- and we excluded actors who were speaking for the government in any official capacity. Even though government officials are often important players, we judged it unlikely that a survey of such formal power-holders would be answered at all, let alone with the level of frankness that would be needed to gain any insight into their role. We included not only national level actors but also state-level and local-level groups from the states where our newspapers were located (in Germany this meant the states of Hessen and Bavaria and the cities of Frankfurt and Munich); in the US we focused on the tri-state region (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) and California and on New York City and Los Angeles.

"We sought the views not only of those who had achieved significant media standing but of more marginalized and behind the scene groups as well. Our standing data for the period 1989-92 provided us with the major and more occasional players but we turned to other sources as well in making our selection. There are excellent histories of the Anti and Pro movements on the abortion issue discussing the role of various organizations and, from these sources, we added to our list several groups rarely or never quoted in the newspapers we sampled. Finally, we circulated our list to scholars familiar with the framing contest, asking them to suggest any significant groups that were omitted.

"Our final list in Germany had 150 organizations and we were able to obtain completed questionnaires from 94 of them (63%); in the U.S., we identified 70 groups and ended up with 55 completed questionnaires (79%). On the non-responses, some of the organizations we identified were no longer in existence, a few we were unable to locate, and others promised to respond but never got around to it in spite of nagging phone calls.

"With minor modifications for context, we used the same detailed questionnaire in both countries. Groups were asked about their goals on the abortion issue and changes in these goals and the specific activities they have engaged in to achieve them. They were asked about the centrality of the mass media in their efforts and about their interaction with journalists. They were asked for their own assessment of the most important players in shaping media discourse. They were asked about their alliances and how they understood their role in a broader organizational field. Finally, there were asked about their own internal organization and allocation of staff time and resources to media relations."