Good Essay About Frame Analysis
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Media today is the main source of public knowledge. They try to cover as much events and updates to inform people. Media in this manner reflect reality. With the inevitable selectivity in transmitting messages through framing, however, media becomes powerful enough to construct reality. Selectivity is said to be inevitable, as media would have to consider what would sell. Media is business after all. Messages must be widely talked about since it would mean many buy and consume the message (McCullagh, 2002).
Although frames aid in constructing reality, people perceive such messages and information from the media as informative and in turn, reflective of reality. News making, one of the many ways to transmit information, utilizes framing. In order to delve in this stance, we would examine news on the Paris terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo. Texts would be used in support of the argument.
Framing identifies messages that would be included, excluded, salient, and unimportant to fit complexities into relatable categories. Nonetheless, its main function is to define problems and causes, developing moral judgment, and propose remedies. There are three factors to consider in framing. These are institutional, cultural, and political economic factors. In the articles we have gathered on the Charlie Hebdo issue, we have discerned that they were heavily factored by the three considerations especially cultural.
The Charlie Hebdo issue sprung from the clash of French journalism and Muslims in France. Charlie Hebdo is a publishing company of satirical magazines featuring various prominent global figures. Jihadists attacked its office in Paris with casualties. Apparently, Charlie Hebdo released satire of the Muslims’ prophet Muhammad. This has been said to be the motivation behind the attack (BBC, 2015).
The articles released after the fact defined the problem as an act of terrorism since the event was caused to threaten the journalists’ freedom of speech. Other than seeking justice, certainly journalists asserted their belief to continue their work regardless. The issue was brought about by cultural factor. Muhammad is Muslims’ holy figure. Muslims living in France while seeing satire of the prophet would not sit well. The French journalists, on the other hand, do not see Muhammad the same way. The freedom of speech motivated them as opposed to religious faith for the Muslims. Hence, they featured the prophet satirically (Toronto Star Newspapers, 2015).
We infer that the frames built through the articles were in favor of the French journalists. Using the inductive approach particularly the Robert Entman approach of five media text aspects, we found that all the aspects strengthens the presence of the French journalists as opposed to the Muslims. First on sizing judgments, the articles have not caught interviews with Muslims as if they were omitted in the story. Second on agency and identification, the words used on the Muslims were mainly negative in a threatening sense. An article indicated that the attackers have achieved to scare influential organizations, for example (Bershevsky, 2015).Third on categorization, the media sealed the incident as crime particularly terrorism. This type of incident calls massive responses, which brings us to the last aspect. On generalization, it resulted to chain reaction with an addition of a foretelling event. The fear felt through the incident sparked concern throughout Europe that the locals form anti-Muslim sentiments. With this, the attackers are predicted to gain supporters due to the also threatened ordinary Muslims (Potter, 2015; McCullagh, 2002).
Framing and its effect on the Charlie Hebdo issue develop an agenda setting. The media covering the issue was able to shift the perception of the public according to the focus of their contents (Griffin, 2012). As a result, the public empathized with the victims and the French journalists’ assertion in their beliefs so much so that many went to massive rallies of 18,000 people. Furthermore, the participants indicated in their placards “Je Suis Charlie (I am Charlie)” and “Not Afraid”. Hence, the anti-Muslim sentiments were sparked. The messages from the media were interpreted as a call for the public to fight. There are serious consequences should the events continue as foretold. Taking from the agenda-setting theory, the attackers would likely identify with the overwhelming media and get motivated to stage another attack.
Framing, as discussed, is inevitable in news making. With this, however, journalism may be put to bad light. Suddenly, it becomes a weapon encouraging mass destruction. Nonetheless, the frames present in media are matters of perspective. Four types of media sociologists contend over the spotlight. The dominant demands the media to frame information according to dominant societal perspective. The pluralist, on the other hand, use various range including oppositional frames. The feminist argument presents male perspectives. Meanwhile, the postmodern view does not have coherent image of the matter.
Since the issue is in France where freedom of speech is valued over hailing holy figure of the non-majority, the dominant perspective gained the spotlight. Had there any chance given to other perspectives especially the pluralist, the perspective we deemed appropriate for this case, the public response might have been different. In conclusion, people responded strongly in favor of the journalists. The justice sought seemed partly achieved since the journalists gained the support of the public. This would not happen without successfully utilizing selectivity, frames, and agenda setting. Through these, they were able to make a constructed reality for empathy. Thus, the public perceived such reality and responded accordingly.
BBC. (2015). Charlie Hebdo attack: Three days of terror. BBC News Europe. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30708237
Bershidsky, L. (2015). Opinion: Why the Charlie terrorists are winning. Retrieved from http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2015/01/08/opinion_why_the_charlie_terro rists_are_winning.html
Griffin, E. M. (2012). Agenda-setting theory of Maxwell Combs and Donald Shaw. A First Look at Communication Theory. (8th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
McCullagh, C. (2002). Media power: A sociological introduction. United Kingdom: Palgrave MacMillan.
Potter, M. (2015). Europe’s anti-immigrant sentiment was rising long before Paris attack. Retrieved from http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/01/07/europes_antiimmigrant_sentiment_was_ rising_long_before_paris_attack.html
Toronto Star Newspapers, Ltd. (2015). Charlie Hebdo: Weekly has record of drawing Muslim anger. Retrieved from http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/01/07/charlie_hebdo_weekly_has_record_of_d rawing_muslim_anger.html
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