Framing and Agenda Setting Bias in News Media Essay

1545 Words Sep 30th, 2013 7 Pages
Framing and Agenda Setting Bias in News Media
The Hutchinson Commission on freedom of the press best defined news in 1947 as a "truthful, comprehensive, and intelligent account of the day's events in a context which gives them meaning."Journalism in today's news is not the same as it was over half a century ago. The Fairness Doctrine, which was eliminated in 1987, was a policy that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the Federal Communications Commission's view, honest, equitable and balanced. The Doctrine obligated broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public policy and to air contrasting
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There are thousands of television channels, radio stations, newspapers and magazines, not to mention the thousands of internet news sources available. We have more instant access to information as consumers and citizens yet that doesn’t mean we’re better informed. Many will agree that the function of the news is to educate and reveal the truth about current events. However, the truth is complicated. News may only help people to see the world in a certain perspective because messages are selected and edited or, in the other word, framed. Framing is an alternative way of presenting events and issues, a process of highlighting certain aspects of an issue and neglecting others. This emphasizing/de-emphasizing method inevitably entails inherent bias.
Joan Didion notes that news is no longer just reported, but managed in a way that sets its terms, dictates its pace, allocates time and space, and shapes its overall content” (Danny Schechter, 1997) The framing process starts with a someone finding out about an event or some information and then interpreting it. They then gather information by searching for data and interviewing relevant people. They select ‘important’ information, omit ‘less-important’ data, emphasize particular aspects of the issue and elaborate on that. The public receive the framed news through the media. As stated by Reuven Frank in 1998, “news is something people don’t know if they are interested in until they hear about it. The

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