Framing Matters

“Frames serve to simplify a complex issue or choice by emphasising one dimension over another.” –  Matthew C. Nisbet

Framing is inevitable in making media“. When media is packaged, it usually has a central storyline, derived from the schema from which its frame is based. This schema reflects pre-existing ideas that the frame is intending to reference. Thus, a frame exists to quickly organise information in order to create a perception about the media product itself.


Framing is widely prevalent across all forms of media. It had its humble beginnings in legacy news media, where the framing was closed-off to a small amount of gatekeepers. But now, it is everywhere, thanks to advancements in communications technology. Digital media opens framing to literally everyone. Meaning we now have internet memes, equiped with unique frames which propagate into sub-frames called memeplexes; online personas, based on how we frame ourselves online; and an ever-present issue of media coverage of events that have conflicting frames.

So, this week I decided to explore Nisbet’s model of how media frames structure our political perceptions. However, instead of exploring this issue in relation to a legacy media bias, I wanted to explore how the predicative algorithms which decide what content we see have created a similar problem, but in a digital format. I formulated an image which compares differing news coverage on similar events to highlight how framing determines the perception of a media object.

Screen Shot 2018-05-25 at 8.41.24 am.png

[Quote Source]

Are you aware of the framing behind the media objects you consume? Comment below.

[cover image source]

2 Replies to “Framing Matters”

  1. Hey Jasmyn! Really enjoyed reading your post this week – I was unfamiliar with Nisbet’s model of media frame structure, but upon reading up on it and then seeing you shift the focus to algorithmic influence on our political views I thought made it much more timely and relevant as a media measurement tool.

    Also, comparing Fox News against Fox News Latino was a good inclusion – it serves as an example of media bias and preconception boiled down to its simplest form, an exclusion of any perspective outside of the ones immediately relevant to or in-line with the producer or audience’s real or perceived values.

    All in all, excellent post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Jasmyn, I really like this post and I agree that framing is a really big issue in the media today. The case that you used for this post shows just how important getting your facts right in a story can make all the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s