Posted by: lindseynewkirk | April 16, 2014

Manipulating The Masses

The power that the media has in influencing populations based on message framing and presentation patterns as highlighted in Images of China (Li, 2012) reminds me of George W. Bush’s and the media’s messages to America when launching the “War on Terror”. I glanced through an article I found; “Framing the Truth: U.S. Media Coverage during the War on Terror” (Wiggins, n.d.) where the author points to news media embodied the “us-versus-them” frame. Given that the framing of news stories has a massive impact on how people perceive a given issue and how they should interpret them I think the media was incredibly irresponsible in that message. The fear that they evoked through this core message severely altered people’s attitudes towards Muslims causing a ripple effect of unnecessary judgment and hate towards an otherwise peaceful population of people that had nothing to do with the small fraction of Muslim terrorists blamed for the attack.

In another article, “Does Watching the News Change our Attitudes about Political Policy: A Terrorism Case Study” (Brinson and Stohl, 2012) I found this closing remark to be quite appropriate in looking at the media’s responsibility in message framing around politics: “The media have the responsibility to not only provide “the news,” but also to ensure that they provide the public with the context and background to enable the public to evaluate the information contained within it.”

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