Framing and the Media - Abu Ghraib Prison


Term Paper, 2003
23 Pages

Excerpt

Table of Contents

Abstract

Introduction:

Framing:

Role of Framing in the Presentation of the News:

Abu Ghraib Prison Situation Overview:

The Los Angeles Times’ Take on the Situation:

New Hampshire’s Union Leader’s Take on the Situation:

Comparison of the Two Approaches:

Implications and What is Considered:

References

Abstract

This paper will define the somewhat ambiguous term ‘framing’, and then discuss how it is utilized, in mass media. Then a recent news topic, the Abu Ghraib Prison situation, will be overviewed. Two news sources will be reviewed, one liberal, the other conservative. Their framing approaches will be compared, and the implications of these approaches will be discussed in detail.

Framing and the Media – Abu Ghraib Prison

Introduction

It is not a surprise that mass media in today’s information overloaded world has significant effects on how society perceives events. When one considers the amount of information available for perusal, and the timeliness, today there is little excuse for members of society to not be well informed. Reporters are stationed around the globe, with cameras waiting to capture the latest news story and send it via satellite for transmission 24 hours a day back to a news hungry audience. It is the media’s job to inform and analyze events without politicizing and socializing the information. However, this reporting is typically not purely unbiased as it should be. It is through the use of framing that those disseminating information shape the thoughts and reactions of the general public.

This paper will define the somewhat ambiguous term ‘framing’, and then discuss how it is utilized, in mass media. Then a recent news topic, the Abu Ghraib Prison situation, will be overviewed. Two news sources will be reviewed, one liberal, the other conservative. Their framing approaches will be compared, and the implications of these approaches will be discussed in detail.

Framing

Framing is a term that is not easily defined. It is most accurately described as the priming of an audience to interpret a set of events in a certain way. This happens internally, within individuals, as people all have internal biases that affect the way situations are perceived. In addition, non-intentional physical attributes of one’s reality frame how the information is processed. However, in the context of this paper it will discuss how the media utilizes framing to sway their readers or viewers.

Framing by the media can help determine the outcomes of a decision or action by the way a situation is described. It establishes an information processing bias that affects the reader or viewers analyzing process. Framing affects the recipient’s perception of reality, by simply altering the way in which the material is presented.

Media framing determines how news is presented and affects how the recipient comprehends it. It is attributes of the news that organize the information in such a way to fulfill an agenda. The motives of the reporter are imbedded in the material and try to slant the information in such a way that the reporter can alter the recipient’s sense of reality to agree more closely with his own.

Role of Framing in the Presentation of the News

In a perfect world, framing shouldn’t have a role in the presentation of the news at all. News reports should be unbiased analysis of events and facts. The public should be able to trust that a reporter has done their best to provide all the necessary information to form their own opinion on a situation. And, reporters should be held accountable if this isn’t done. However, that is not reality. Instead framing plays an important role in how news is presented and then interpreted.

Depending on the source, an issue can be presented as either a catastrophe or a minor isolated challenge. With the right spin, the media can frame an issue so effectively that they take a negative and make it a positive, or vice versa. Both liberal and conservative news sources are guilty of framing, and it is simply accepted by society that one has to often take reports ‘with a grain of salt’ to uncover the full truth of a situation.

Trust in the media has deteriorated due to framing. It’s a sad state of affairs when one questions the motives of a newscast, knowing that there is someone else out there reporting a completely different view oftentimes, and wondering which, if either is correct. This is never truer than in the reporting of the recent Abu Ghraib prison situation.

Abu Ghraib Prison Situation Overview

In an effort not to fall victim to framing in this paper, the known facts will be presented as an overview of the situation. The situation, perhaps, begins with September 11th, and the attacks on America. Those attacks led American forces, as well as others, to their eventual positioning within Iraq, and Abu Ghraib Prison.

Abu Ghraib Prison was utilized by Saddam Hussein and is infamous for the torture that was performed there by the ex-leader. American military have utilized the facility to detain suspected threats to American and coalition forces and the freedom of Iraq. In this detention, prisoners were interrogated for information.

In March 2004, 17 soldiers, including a Brigadier General, were removed from duty at the prison, due to charges of prisoner mistreatment. In April 2004, images of this abuse made their way into the media and around the world. Images of American soldiers and private security officers were shown inflicting pain and humiliation on Iraqi prisoners. Investigations into the abuse were undertaken, as well as court marshals for some of the soldiers involved.

[...]

Excerpt out of 23 pages

Details

Title
Framing and the Media - Abu Ghraib Prison
College
University of Phoenix
Author
Year
2003
Pages
23
Catalog Number
V60761
ISBN (eBook)
9783638543491
ISBN (Book)
9783640338078
File size
416 KB
Language
English
Tags
Framing, Media, Ghraib, Prison
Quote paper
Kimberly Wylie (Author), 2003, Framing and the Media - Abu Ghraib Prison, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/60761

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