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Framing in the Media - Essay Example

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Topic: Framing in the media Author: Saman Chishtie Instructor: Academia-research Abstract This essay is on framing in the media and discusses how heuristics and other cognitive biases shape individual perceptions of current events in terms of framing in the light of Bronfenbrenner’s theory…
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Framing in the Media
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Download file to see previous pages All this can be attributed to the framing in media done whereby perceptions are manipulated by controlling the timing, amount and content of information sharing. Human beings not eager to think rely on such frames and become entwined to it. Framing, a tool used by media, have thus by far played a crucial role when it comes to shaping individual and group opinions. Framing in media is a concept that goes back to as early as 1920’s. As a famous scientist named Lippman puts in “The media would control public opinion by focusing attention on selected issues while ignoring others. Known as the "agenda-setting" hypothesis, the idea that people were easily susceptible to media influence was soon derided as an overly simplistic misperception of the viewing audience.” Framing, a term used in media studies, sociology and psychology, refers to the social creation of a social phenomenon by mass media sources or specific political or social movements or organizations. It is an inevitable process of selective influence over the individual's perception of the meanings attributed to words or phrases. A frame defines the wrapping of an element of rhetoric in such a way as to encourage certain interpretations and to discourage others. The basis of framing theory is that media filters out certain issues and then give them a desired meaning which entities accept. In a nutshell, frame refers to the way in which information is organized and presented, and how it is depicted by the audiences. Over the years, various researches have been conducted to address the issue that whether it is a genuine public opinion that is occasionally voiced out or is it a mere implant of opinions that are expressed, by the not so honest voice of public, also known as “the media”. Media over the time feed people with and shapes and modifies opinions those existing within them. All the thinking is done by the media and we merely conform to the comfortable thoughts provided to us and accept them. Human beings by nature prefer to do little or no thinking and they find refuge in the thoughts and ideas provided to them and thus this is how framing in media works. Framing provides the sender i.e. the media enormous power to shape and filter the opinions of the receivers. Framing is deemed successful when the frame projected is congruent with the frame of the recipients and produce resonance and thus the desired response. Accordingly humans often easily accept the opinions shaped by the media and choose to think and act in ways desired by the media. How an issue is presented have far reaching consequences. Researchers Krosnick & Brannon (1993) used national survey data to explain national changes in mood. During 1992, the media refocused its attentions from the war to the national economy. Based on sophisticated statistical analyses, Krosnick & Brannon demonstrated that this media refocus largely accounted for Bush's declining popularity in 1992. By what means an issue is organized and presented by the media can drastically change individual preferences and opinion. Media thus forces us to think and contemplate in ways they want. Through framing, media tends to influence peoples’ perceptions and the way they see the issue at hand. It not only provides them with the news to think over, but it also frames the minds as to how to reflect on an issue. Therefore, they tend to think in the way they are expected to. Cognitive biases often lead to illogical interpretations, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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