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Monday, July 18, 2005

Excellent NYT Article on Framing

If you click here, you'll find a thought-provoking NYTimes Magazine article on the ascendence within progressive circles of the idea of framing. George Lakoff is leading the charge. The article is solid, not merely because it describes Lakoff's rise, but because it also asks whether his ascendence is just a passing fad and what, if anything, we've learned.

I saw him speak in St. Louis this May at the National Conference on Media Reform. It was one of the highlights of the conference--though, admittedly, it was definitely less fun than watching Al Franken crack jokes or FCC Commisioner Michael Copps wail on the harmonica.

I highly recommend Lakoff's book, Don't Think of an Elephant, a staff pick at Powells, though as the article rightly notes, it's not a cure-all for the Dems.

I bring this up for two reasons. First, every type of progressive (even policy wonks) must remember that framing is key to all policy debates, and the media policy debate is no different. Second, it serves as a bit of foreshadowing. I'm taking a class this fall with Klaus Krippendorff called "Social Constructions of Reality," and I think I'd like to do something around framing the media policy debate. We'll see what comes of it...

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