In this day and age everything you view on television or read in the newspaper should be read with caution. It’s not the content of the story that you should be wary of, you, the reader or the viewer should pay particular consideration to the way that media outlets are presenting their stories, or how they are framing their stories.
Framing is a technique used in all aspects of journalism; the framing theory suggests that how something is presented to the audience influences the choices people make about how to process that information. The media will focus on events and then place them in a field of meaning, influencing their audience to take on their point of view (Framing Theory).
View the Ted Talk video featuring Trevor Aaronnson below:
In this particular Ted Talk video: How this FBI strategy is actually creating US-based terrorists by Trevor Aaronson, the presenter, Trevor Aaronson, mentions that one of the FBI sources is a pedophile. Pedophiles are viewed in today’s society as despicable individuals that commit heinous crimes against children. Additionally, Mr. Aaronson also discredits an FBI source by presenting that the individual is mentally ill, suggesting that due to the individual’s mental illness the information provided is erroneous.
In mentioning these individual’s criminal background the Trevor Aaronson is attempting to mislead and influence that audience’s opinion by discrediting the information provided by, in his opinion, these unsavory sources. The way the Trevor Aaronson introduces these individual’s background clearly indicates that he has a bias against people with mental illnesses and people affected by pedophilia. Law enforcement agencies can’t afford to discredit information because of bias, the information from any informant (mentally ill or a person with a history of criminal activity) has to be considered for its true value before it is devalued.
Whether or not Mr. Aaronson’s findings are factual is not important, what should be scrutinized is the method he is utilizing to project his message.
Framing Theory. (n.d.). Retrieved April 06, 2016, from Mass Communication Theory: http://masscommtheory.com/theory-overviews/framing-theory/
Sara Tiegreen, E. N. (2008, April 1). How News is "Framed". New York, New York, USA.