Today’s Political Communication Mis-‘Tweets’ the Public

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This revolution in communication isn’t over. The 2016 presidential campaign has brought us more dramatic transformations in the art and science of political communication. It’s changed what constitutes an appropriate statement by a candidate or campaign, and changed the content and nature of the news itself. Most of this has been driven by one candidate.

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Mindful voters, mindless news: Trump is a teachable moment

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This year is on track to be the world’s hottest on record, exceeding the previous hottest year, 2015, which exceeded the previous hottest year, 2014. For the news media, this campaign offers a teachable moment. If you want to tell the most important story in human history, if you believe that rousing your audience to civic action is part of journalism’s job, you might want to cover the 2016 campaign against the backdrop of brutal climate change, and to frame this election as a choice whose consequences could be irreversibly damaging for the rest of human history.

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We Mourn Muhammad Ali — And Something Even Bigger

Muhammad_Ali_1966Ali-Frazier. It was an event everybody in America paid attention to. In our fragmented media environment today that wouldn’t happen. That’s unfortunate.
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Professor, You’re Fired! Or, the Education of a Trump Voter

8566717881_4cd237e309_o“If data made a difference, graphs of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide and earth surface temperatures would melt a climate-change-denier’s denial like greenhouse gases are melting Greenland. If facts had standing, no sane person could maintain that the slaughtered children of Sandy Hook Elementary were actors. If reality had a vote, no radio host could persuade his listeners that Operation Jade Helm, a Navy Seal/Green Beret training exercise, was a false flag operation – a cover for imposing federal martial law, seizing citizens’ guns and transporting political prisoners to FEMA camps secretly set up in West Texas Wal-Marts Continue reading Professor, You’re Fired! Or, the Education of a Trump Voter

Help! I’ve been Framed!

David Axelrod A key skill taught to mediators and negotiators is how to ‘reframe’ issues. This means moving the conversation to a higher level of generalisation. A form of bold simplification that (as the jargon has it) takes all concerned from their obvious Positions to less obvious Interests and Needs. And thereby creates space for strategic compromises.

Thus a haggle over compensation payments: “I think I’m hearing from you that you can be flexible on phasing these payments, but you really need certainty on the total?” The reframing question opens the idea of trading Money against Time.

Framing is all around us these days in politics. Organisation activist Saul Alinsky featured it prominently in his Rules for Radicals: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Continue reading Help! I’ve been Framed!