Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished ManuscriptAbstract: The purpose of this study is to empirically test whether newspaper accounts are really policy narratives. While many studies have examined the various ways media influences public opinion, the policy change literature is contradictory with what the role of the media is in policy change: a conduit, reflecting the various perspectives in the policy system or a conductor, purporting policy beliefs. To address these questions, one hundred seventy five national and local articles were content analyzed using a mixed methodology informed by narrative policy analysis. The articles covered one of two contentious policy issues in the Greater Yellowstone Area between 19862006, that of snowmobile access or wolf reintroduction. The articles were content analyzed for policy beliefs, framing strategies, and problem definition. The results indicate that there are statistical differences between local and national media coverage for six of the eight hypotheses. Media accounts are policy stories and a part of advocacy coalitions.