“The literature of social movements suggests that the prudent choice of frames, and the ability to effectively contest the opposition’s frames [re-frame], lie at the heart of successful policy advocacy.” Framing Public Issues Toolkit
Have you ever noticed how the mainstream media frames people with mental health issues as violent and unpredictable? A common media myth: people with a mental illness are more likely to be a victim of violence; and are more dangerous to themselves than they are to others.
8 useful things to know about issues framing
- It’s a way of structuring or presenting information into messages (words, metaphors and images) that can influence how people think about an issue. The infamous War on Terror is a classic example.
- It aims to simplify reality by shaping people’s assumptions and perceptions.
- A good frame engages the listeners’ values and emotions and it’s easy to remember.
- It’s packaged to encourage certain interpretations and to discourage others.
- For political purposes, framing often presents facts in such a way that implicates a problem that is in need of a solution.
- In a political context issue framing means presenting an issue in a way that’s going to get the biggest buy-in.
- Frames are powerful because most of us have internalized them from the media so they’re second nature to us.
- Some people call it spin.
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