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Habits of Mind
Unit 2






The ways journalists frame news stories have real consequences for their audiences.  For instance, Media Matters reports that "only seven of 20 major newspapers in top agricultural producing states featured the [2019 United Nations climate and land] report on their print front pages...," resulting in that story being left outside the frame.


Margaret Sullivan's column explores how the news media can report and frame mass shootings differently to better fulfill journalism's public service duty.


Journalists often choose the frames for their news stories unconsciously.  Media scholar Keith Somerville looks at two specific international cases where those unexamined choices reinforce stereotypes and make it easy for people to ignore serious issues.


Try to guess the rest of a lead in a story that ran in The Wall Street Journal—and you'll immediately see The Atlantic writer James Fallows' point about different ways the same news may be framed, reflecting the views of different parts of society.


When Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American was shot by an armed white man, the news story soon became framed in terms of race.  Here's a thoughtful discussion about issues raised by some of those frames (from Eric Deggans and the Poynter Institute).





What are the alternatives to horse-race coverage? Jim Morrill at the Nieman Foundation talks about a "citizens agenda" and the 2020 election. 


For a good discussion of what horse-race coverage is, why it came about and when, see this article by Matthew C. Nisbet. 





Here's a helpful discussion of news values that takes into account both the research about what audiences see as newsworthy and what journalists believe should be newsworthy (from journalist Owen Spencer-Thomas).






What if Civil Rights Stories Included White Allies More Often?


This short, thought-provoking video asks how framing civil rights stories differently might affect how people respond to those stories (from the Media Education Foundation).

Jay Rosen on Horse-race Coverage


Journalists often cover political campaigns as if they're sporting events.  That's partly because this kind of coverage makes reporters feel like insiders, analyzing strategy and making predictions along with political operatives, says Rosen, a media critic and journalism professor.  But it doesn't serve communities, who need to hear how candidates might deal with issues that affect citizens.

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