Mass media entities are arguably the most frequent users of linguistic framing. In order to create catchy headings, newspapers and TV broadcasts use this device to attract the attention of the audience by evoking a chain of associations in the people’s minds. Moreover, even though the media in most Western countries is seen as separate from politics, linguistic framing in the news can be used to encourage the viewers or readers to think about a topic in a certain way, which can either be beneficial for the current government or oppose it.
We will write a custom Essay on Mass Media and Its Political Influences specifically for you
301 certified writers online
One of the most recent famous examples of linguistic framing in the news is the use of the term ‘Muslim ban’ to refer to Donald Trump’s executive order to limit the travel rights of people from several nations that are considered as posing a terrorist threat to America and its citizens. The order barred people from seven Muslim-majority countries to enter the U.S. for 90 days, and prohibited the entry of refugees for 120 days. The order was indeed quite controversial, as it affected the lives of many innocent people, separating them from their families and causing them to be expelled from the place of residence. However, the news agencies facilitated the uproar against the policy by attributing the term ‘Muslim ban’ to it.
The expression consists of two words, the combination of which was designed to attract the attention of people all over the world, particularly the liberal U.S. citizens. Today, we live in a global world where people can move around the globe to share their experience, culture, and language with people from other nations and religions. As a country that was discovered through immigration, America is seen by many as a place that is inclusive of all nations and religions, where all people are treated equally regardless of their background. Many of the orders of the previous U.S. President Barack Obama were aimed at promoting equality and battling unfair treatment of people based on their gender, race, and sexuality. The term ‘Muslim ban’, therefore, contrasts the core values of many American people, as it refers to a certain group of people being treated unfairly on the basis of their religion solely.
There were indeed other ways that the news could refer to the order that would have produced two entirely different. For instance, if the media applied the term ‘travel ban’, which was used by Trump’s executives, it would not have received such strong opposition. On the other hand, if the term ‘terrorist ban’ was employed, the people’s reaction would be quite the opposite, and more people would support the order, as terrorism is viewed as a major threat to the safety and security of the U.S. citizens. All three examples show how framing can be used by media to influence people’s opinions on the topic. By referring to the order as the ‘Muslim ban’, therefore, the media highlighted its unjust nature and the fact that it promotes unequal treatment based on religious background, thus causing an enormous uproar among the public. Such publicity helped the people in the U.S. justice system to stand up to the order and eventually caused Donald Trump to admit that he was willing to replace the ban with a softer policy in the near future.