Strategy Development – Media Framing

Continuing the week of presentations on “Communicating for Effect”, instructions for PAOs from Air University, today we’ll examine – briefly – the oft-contentious issue of media framing.

The idea is far from new, though I believe the term is relatively recent. In a nutshell, “framing” is the decision, whether conscious or unconscious, to concentrate on certain aspects of an issue to the neglect of others. In essence, one draws a metaphorical line – a “frame” – around the areas and issues one wants to discuss or emphasize, and ignores or neglects all others. Sometimes, it’s done for less-than-noble reasons, or with less-than-noble goals in mind, but occasionally it happens for more understandable, and palatable, reasons – such as when pampered newsreaders suddenly find themselves required to discuss and ab-lib about things they haven’t even a passing knowledge of.

news framing

The presentation (402KB PDF) contains the above chart, which I’ve singled out for one specific reason – the last line, “thereby unconsciously promoting one particular interpretation of events.”

Unconsciously? Hardly. The whole point of media coverage is to promote a particular viewpoint or interpretation of events. In many ways, the entire course on “Communicating for Effect” is about doing this from and for a military perspective. Even in a class which emphasizes the power and promotion of “TRUTH” (itself just “one particular interpretation of events”), there’s still a goodly amount of “truthiness” to be found.

So, in the last two days, we’ve looked at the basics of “communicating for effect”, the idea of “source credibility”, and the weaselly world of media “framing”. What’s left? Just tomorrow’s big surprise – a little something about… bloggers. 😀

Published in: Geekiness, General, Security | on September 20th, 2007| Comments Off on Strategy Development – Media Framing

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