The current issue of medical marijuana has been a very central one for people in Colorado for the past couple of years. Since the passing of the initial bill that made it legal, there have been many debates and revisions to the bill. One journalist for the Denver Post, John Ingold, has been tracking the issue since its start, and his opinions appear (although subtly) through the way he frames his stories.
On February 11th, the Denver Post published another article written by Ingold about the public hearing about proposed revisions to the medical marijuana regulation bill. The debate about the bill had begun with certain proposed changes to the industry, but the bill had been rewritten to deal with other issues.
Lately in Denver media, the former Colorado hockey super star, Peter Forsberg has just signed a one year contract with the Colorado Avalanche. Forsberg was a key element to both 1996 and 2001 Stanley Cup victories, and has been plagued with foot injuries ever since. He has been traded several times and could not find a steady home. He has been playing in a Sweden for the past couple of years and now wants to make a comeback with Colorado. Adam Foote, the veteran captain of the Avalanche and once Forsbergs teammate, heard of this news and invited Peter to skate with the team a couple of times. Word got out, and reports were all over. Videos of Peter in practice were released and the Media starting asking questions if he was going to return to the Colorado Roster.
Although Peter probably wanted to keep this behind the scenes, he was forced to answer a plethora of questions asking when he would return and when. The media framed their reports around the fact that Peter would return to the Avs, but when? Since they saw him practicing, they assumed that he was going to make a comeback. Now 37, Peter says he still experiences foot pains but they are very slight and abrupt. The media is also making this a big deal because of Forsbergs former stardom. He was a ferocious player back in his day putting up two, 100 point seasons. The media is trying to portray Forsberg as the “answer” to all of the Avalanche’s problems. Because of this marketing strategy, more people are interested than ever, and are looking forward to seeing Peter return. After skating with the team a couple of times, Peter finally signed a one year contract. Although he probably knew he was going to join the team, he was most likely was persuaded by the media and their incessant questions. It just shows that the media today is very intrusive and does not give anyone the light of day. People want answers. This may be good for the Media ratings, but can take its toll on the team and the Peter as well. Focusing the attention on one player rather than the team might throw off team chemistry as the Avs might find themselves in a deeper hole if this situation does not work out.
In the February8, 2011 New York Times paper, an article on the front page talks about the multi-millionaire, Bob Rich, who decided to sponsor a football team in England in an area he had just become lord of. The team was called the Bedlington Terriers, the players semi-professional, their stadium in Welfare Park.
In this article, the writers attempt to frame Rich as a benevolent man, who willingly gives to a lowly football team. They choose to make the American in a place of superiority, assisting those not as high up. Even the title of the article highlights the frame the author Jere Longman wished to present. It begans with “US Patron”, lending credence to the fact that it was not just any patron assisting the team, but one from the United States. He “lifts a lowly English soccer club.” Obviously, the writer is trying to depict that this certain English sphere could not have existed without this willingly generous American. The article goes on to talk about how kind and good Rich is, using a variety of sources.
The country competition once again comes into play, but it might have even been produced subconsciously in this instance. Longman most likely wished to do a refreshing story after all the coverage of the Egypt protests, and chose to do so by making America look altruistic through its citizens. The NYT made it the article on the front page, when really it just seems like an unremarkable occurance. Though that went into this was probably that after all these problems in Egypt, the US once again shows how great they are, even though they failed to assist Egyptian protesters when they were needed. Members of the Bedlington Terriers are not even mentioned in the article. Longman goes into explicit detail on the remodeling that will become of their stadium, and included Bedlington people responding to Rich. They speak fondly of him and all the changes he will make. Such a frame as this should be easily noticed, but it appears that that is not so. The people of America are once again trying to prove their countries dominance through charity work.
Actress, Lindsay Lohan, has found herself in the headlines once again, this time for a grand theft felony. The 24 year-old actress was accused of allegedly taking a $2,500 necklace from a Venice, California jewelry store just five short weeks after being released from a court ordered stay at the Betty Ford Clinic, a drug rehabilitation facility. However, shortly before police were to begin a search through Lohan’s apartment, the necklace was returned.
I read several news stories on different news sites about Lohan’s most recent legal troubles and found a common thread. Each article quoted presiding Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz’s words to Lindsay, “You need to follow the laws just like everyone else. You’re no different than anyone else so please don’t push your luck because things will be different.” The frame, or way in which a story is told, seems to be the same through many of these articles. Many of the journalists who cover Lohan related news tend to lean toward an anti-sympathetic stance. Being that Lindsay has gotten herself into so much trouble over the last few years, with two DUI charges under her belt, a felony charge of possession of cocaine, several stints in rehab, and an assault charge just to name a few, the media has been, in a sense, holding her to her bad girl image. So while a journalists job really is to present unbiased news reports, it seems to be a difficult task for journalist when it comes to Miss Lohan. This biased reporting then leads readers to not want to give Lindsay any chances to redeem herself. Although she has made quite a few mistakes in the past, it is not necessarily “fair” that the media continue to portray her in a negative light. Rather than poke jabs at the starlet, reporters should simply state the facts, and not put their personal spin on the issues—that’s the reader’s job.
According to the book, framing is known as the notion that every story is told in a particular way that influences how readers think of the story. There are two popular and known networks that are either skewed left or right politically. Fox News is skewed right and CNN is skewed left. In general, the media is more liberal than conservative which is why we can’t always believe everything we hear. This can sometimes be a problem because “frequently the facts of a story are forced to fit into the frame, or angle, regardless of the reality (292). We need to do research to confirm what they say is true. The most popular current event has been the riots in Egypt. An article that is posted on CNN http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/02/08/obamas-support-democracy-extend-egypt/ talks about President Obama supporting universal values. The article then discusses the history of the Mubarak regime leading this article into a framing quote, “This lobby has convinced presidents from Roosevelt to Obama to ignore abuses by the regime that include not only the mistreatment of Saudi citizens but discriminatory practices against American Jews and Christians.” We can obviously concur that the author of the article has a clear influence that he wants his readers to understand. The story overall is fairly moderate because it is giving a lot of information on Egypt and the current events. The United States were not taking a side for a while which is why I think both CNN and Fox don’t have very skewed articles. It is hard for any human being to not frame a story because of human nature and their own opinions. President Obama has now come out and announced the need for a new government in Egypt. Other articles relating to the new government in Egypt such as the opportunity for the Muslim Brotherhood to take power will create more of a framed article based on the objectives of the author to influence his readers.
Fans who were promised temporary seating after paying for them for the Superbowl were turned away by the NFL as they deemed the seats unsafe. This article is framed unintentionally towards the fans viewpoint. The framing allows for fans to potentially empathize with the fans who lost their seats in the Superbowl. The article briefly mentions what the NFL has offered the fans in terms of “making a deal” so they don’t sue, but you don’t get the full perspective from Jerry Jones (owner of the Cowboys and their stadium) and the NFL because they refused to comment.
Thus the article’s main focus is on a man who spent $400,000 on regular season tickets and the opportunity to buy Superbowl tickets. This man still was able to watch the Superbowl but didn’t get the view he wanted. He sat on a metal chair with obstacles blocking his view, according to the article.
At first the reader may be enraged and wonder how this guy is complaining, but then if you think about the money he spent to get seats – which in the end he didn’t get. This allows the reader to empathize (or sympathize if they’re one of the few who were turned away) with the fans. The NFL did offer each fan either a ticket to the next Superbowl with $2400, or a ticket to a Superbowl of their choosing with free transportation and hospitality.
That is the only and full perspective that we get from either the NFL or Jerry Jones. Had the writer received an interview from either the commissioner or Jones, then the article could have been more objective. The article ends with quotes from one of the prosecutors saying that what the NFL is offering is “completely insufficient” and they will not accept any future offer (nor the one made).
Overall I feel that the journalist did everything that they could to be as objective as possible. They attempted to frame it in an objective manner by putting each side’s perspective on the situation. Because the NFL and Jerry Jones declined interviews, the journalist worked in whatever he could to help remain as objective as possible (so it didn’t look like he was siding with just the fans).
This quarter I am taking a “News of the World” class which has forced me to keep up on international news events. In fact, one of the main focuses in the class is how international news is being presented, covered, etc. I even gave a huge presentation in that class about the events in Egypt and how they are being covered. At the request of the citizens of Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak has been asked to step down. These protests have elevated to even riots against Pro-Mubarak protestors and it is hard to say what the result will be.
The coverage by the United States has been extensive. So extensive, in fact, that even the devastating floods in Australia and other significant events presently going on in the world have been pushed to the back. Although news organizations such as CNN say that they wish to cover events objectively, it is obvious that all the news stories concerning Egypt have been framed in certain ways. One idea that the American journalists have made a point to present to the audience is the evil and oppressive nature of the Egyptian government. It gives the people of the United States who are not familiar with the government and its history and past blind reason to hate the Egyptian government. The story has also been framed in the sense of the overcoverage of the Muslim Brotherhood, especially Fox news. This is a group that has been oppressed by the government because of its supposed agenda and violent and extreme views. However, one thing that I noticed about all the news coverage was that nowhere did the news actually define what the Muslim Brotherhood was or what they stood for. It was simply that they were “bad” and not to be trusted. Therefore, the coverage of Egypt has been framed to antagonize the Egyptian government and certain groups in the region. While this may be just framing, it is framing nonetheless.