Brain Storm : The New War On Poverty

1269 WordsDec 14, 20156 Pages
Brain Storm: The New War on Poverty How the media portrays those living in poverty initiated many new chapters in scholarly research. Very few, however, address the media’s depiction of the poor during times of disaster (natural or manmade). The issue of poverty is mostly understood through the frames in which the media presents it. As the media continues to use episodic frames (individual causes) over thematic frames that seek to address poverty in its entirety (Iyengar, 1990), the frames deliver largely inaccurate and stereotypical interpretations of those in poverty. Episodic frames often ignore the larger structural factors, such as unemployment, (Kendall, 2011) thus creating a fractured image of poverty and those who live within…show more content…
Lastly, I will merge scholarly works that include media framing, poverty, and disaster coverage to show how the media’s frames can negatively affect aid from reaching impoverished communities, illustrated an inaccurate image of the residents in the community, and initiated a false sense of panic to viewers. Framing Framing, described by Robert M. Entman, is the process by which reporters make “information more noticeable, meaningful, or memorable to audiences.” (Entman, 1993) Frames provide salience through “placement, repetition, and association with culturally familiar symbols.” (Entman, 1993) These frames, however, are manipulated to direct audiences to consider certain features or key points and to ignore or minimize others. (Kendall, 2011) That is not to say that what is excluded from the frame is insignificant. The “power of a frame can be as great as that of language itself.” (Entman, 1993) Conversely, information that is excluded from a frame speaks volumes as well. In the case of poverty, societal influences are most often ignored due to isolated, episodic frames. Communication and Political Science scholar, Shanto Iyengar, notes that news reports are the primary vehicles for which Americans receive information on political issues. (Iyengar, 1990) The frames in which they are presented can significantly influence public opinion. For decades, coverage of poverty within the news media has been significantly
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