Denotative Language: The denotation ofa word is its explicit definition as listed ina dictionary.Connotative Language: Theassociation or set of associations thata word usually brings to mind.
Carsof the 1960’s Thunderbird, Falcon, Charger, Comet, Mustang, Barracuda. Carsof the 1970’s Rabbit, Pinto, Colt, Civic, Starlet, Gremlin.
Positive Connotation: Sally was an enthusiastic member of her sorority.Neutral: Sally was an active member of her sorority.Negative Connotation: Sally was a fanatical member of her sorority.
Disabled vs. handicapped vs. differently-abled. Thin vs. slender vs. slim Fat vs. obese vs. heavy Republican vs. conservative vs. right wing Democrat vs. liberal vs. progressive vs. left wing Gay vs. gay
Media Literacy & JournalismAgenda SettingAgenda setting refers to the theory thatthe news media have a large influenceon audiences by their choice of whatstories to consider newsworthy and howmuch prominence and space to givethem.
Media Literacy & JournalismAgenda Setting Example 1 The Iraq War: The amount of news coverage on thewar made it the prominent topic for discussion in theAmerican political arena. However, as the warprogressed, there was less and less news coverageabout the war – making it less important in the politicalagenda of the American public.
Media Literacy & JournalismAgenda Setting Example 2 The Penn State Child Abuse Scandal: In the midst ofthe Republican presidential campaign, the child abusescandal at Penn State was exposed. Suddenly, newsabout the Republican presidential race was alwayssecondary to the unfolding Penn State story. Now, thatstory has disappeared from the news even though thestory isn’t finished.
Media Literacy & JournalismPriming“Priming occurs when news content suggeststo news audiences that they ought to usespecific issues as benchmarks for evaluatingthe performance of leaders and government.” Scheufele & Tewksbury
Media Literacy & Journalism Priming ExampleThe Iraq War: The decision to invade Iraq was a directresponse to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Most newsstories treated the invasion as a needed, necessaryresponse by America to show that it won’t stand downin the face of terror. Subsequently, the mediasuggested that we judge the effectiveness of PresidentBush as a leader based on his decisive, swift response.
Media Literacy & Journalism Framing“Media framing is the process by which anissue is portrayed in the news media. Mediaframes provide boundaries around a newsstory and determine what is and is notnewsworthy or notable. Journalists rely onmedia frames to decide what to include in astory and what to leave out, a process that maybe conscious, instinctive, or culture-bound.”-UCLA Center for Communications & Community
Media Literacy & Journalism Framing ExamplesLet’s say the Ku Klux Klan is planning on holding a rallyon the grounds of the state capitol. Story 1: One local nightly news broadcast does astory on the rally, suggesting that the Klan rally mightattract protestors, which might result in violence. Apolice sergeant is interviewed about how extra securityis going to be needed to prevent injuries. The newsreporter has framed this story as a public safety issue.
Media Literacy & Journalism Story 2: On the same night, another localnews broadcast does a story on the rally,focusing on the Klan’s right to assemble inpublic and voice their opinions. A universitylaw professor is interviewed about the Klan’sright to assemble under the protection of theBill of Rights. The news reporter has framedthe same story as a freedom of speech issue.