Today is impossible to read about current news without the filter of newspapers and media, which discussing and operating according to the framing strategy,agenda setting and priming effect,constantly tend to confirm the vision of reality that they want to convey.
The framing strategy, which sociological foundations were laid by Goffman (cheufele D.A. & Tewksbury D. 2007,p. 12), is based on the presupposition that how an issue is perceived by the audiences can be the result of the way it is discussed by news reports. The framing strategy is part of the broader theory of the agenda-setting, according to which the media highlight, within the reality, a series of problems rather than others, providing interpretative frameworks through which they can be interpreted. By giving importance to some news rather than others, mass media can also influence the way people analyze and make considerations about issues and politics,priming effect (Price & Tewksbury, 1997) .
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Every day, journalists must cover the same information space, with the same time available: to do this, they organize the information that arrives according to an order of relevance, proceeding to assign a particular value to each individual news (news value), a value defined through newsworthiness criterias that are recurrent, easily identifiable and classifiable.
Newsworthiness refers to the following values: Timeliness, Impact, Audience interest, Conflict/Oddity, Drama, Human interest. (Coombs, W.T. & Holladay, S.J. 2010)
Considering the media story about Melbourne Sudanese gang violence;In the article reported by News.co.au “problems with African gangs are virtually non-existent”, Sudaneses “needs to be provided with tools to successfully integrated” and “It’s about people not feeling isolated”. A cultural frame of the situation of Sudanese immigrants in Australia is provided as a harmless and positive situation; The recent crimes in the news are considered as sporadic events that can not be judged on a cultural basis, The media story chosen highlight the need to integrate the subculture within the Australian one. The article does not occupy a prominent position in the news section of the site, but is present in the agenda setting of the online newspaper.
I agree with the analysis made by Natasha,according to which the elements of newsworthiness for the selected media story are proximity and human interest: the first, because the news is part of the national news and the stakeholders are politicians and readers of the news; the second, because the story considers the delicate social theme of integration.
Of Opposite interpretation is the article by abc.com which provides a much more political framing of the story; Starting with the controversial phrase by Peter Dutton “People in Melbourne are scared to go out at restaurants at night because they’re home by these gangs, home invasions, and cars are stolen.” The articles talks about “african gang crisis” and “anxiety about gangs”. The political leader Turnbull, considering the period of the election campaign, is presented as a pacifist who wants to maintain and enhance the multiculturalism typical of Australia, as “one of Australia’s greatest achievements “.
A still different view of the story is provided by the Guardian, who looks more at the human aspect of the story. It is highlighted how, even if the Sudanese gangs are considered a problem for society, they are a “vulnerable” minority that must be protected. The article seems to highlight a sort of sorrow for Sudanese people, and the need for a solution.
I agree with Natasha when she says that “it is evident that public relations greatly influence the stories generated by the media”
Journalism and public relations activities interpenetrate and mingle; media need public relations experts and vice versa. The work of the PR specialists is increasingly present in the public debate and determines the content of the articles often much more than the politicians, advertising agencies and sometimes the same owners of the media. (Blyskal, Jeff and Marie Blyskal, 1985)
A survey of 417 journalists and editors in the 4 main Australian cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra) in 1992, revealed that 86% reported ‘Very Frequent’ contact from PR practitioners, and more than 74% reported receiving 20 or more PR communications (news releases, phone calls, faxes, etc) per week. (Macnamara)
Another analysis of media content carried out by Clara Zawawi, has carried out that 47% of articles in the major metropolitan media were the result of PR activity. (Mancnamara)
The relationship between journalists and public relations experts is complex as it is characterized by cooperation and conflict (Blyskal, Jeff and Marie Blyskal, 1985): cooperation as journalists produce news on the basis of the sources proposed by the experts of pr, conflict because the latters would like to be independent from the others. The media need to recognise the pervasive influence of public relations, and develop methods of working together.
Scheufele, D.A. & Tewksbury, D. 2007, ‘Framing, agenda setting, and priming: The evolution of three media effects models’, Journal of Communication, Vol. 57, pp. 9-20.
Price, V., & Tewksbury, D. 1997. News values and public opinion: A theoretical account of media priming and framing. In G. A. Barett & F. J. Boster (Eds.), Progress in communication sciences: Advances in persuasion (Vol. 13, pp. 173–212). Greenwich, CT: Ablex.
Coombs, W.T. & Holladay, S.J. 2010, ‘Media relations: Shaping the news’, in PR Strategy and Application, Wiley-Blackwell, West Sussex, UK, pp. 107-119.
Blyskal, Jeff and Marie Blyskal, (1985) PR. How the Public Relations Industry Writes the News. New York: William Morrow and Company.