It’s All How They Frame It – Opinion

Note: This “Moore to the Point” commentary aired on NewsTalkSTL on Tuesday, May 10th. Below is audio.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “It’s all how you look at it” – and that’s true, to a point. But while perspective is key to our understanding, I’m going to go a step further and point out that how we look at it in large part depends on how it’s framed.

It’s not humanly possible to read every article that streams past on the news feed. So, we default to skimming headlines – which can be confusing at best, and often downright misleading.

Take, for instance, the story from this past weekend regarding vandalism and fire at the offices of “Wisconsin Family Action” in Madison. First, note the group was referred to as “Anti-Abortion” rather than “Pro-Life” in the national news media.

Even more notable…though the police had already indicated a Molotov cocktail was found in the building (accompanied by threatening graffiti), The Hill’s initial headline Monday morning was “Fire Breaks Out at Wisconsin Anti-Abortion Group Office,” – as if it just mysteriously and spontaneously happened…

— before later changing it to “Police Investigating Possible Arson at Wisconsin Anti-Abortion Office.” You don’t say?!

Pay close attention to headlines, folks – particularly when they’re billed as news items, rather than opinion pieces. “It’s all how they frame it.”

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