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Isaac Freeman

Tagged “politics”

  1. Who's the main character?

    When a progressive political party launches a policy, it's worth paying attention to who gets centred as the main character in news articles.

    You would think that this would be straightforward. If the Green Party has launched a housing policy, you'd write an article saying ‘Greens launch housing policy’. Describing the policy would be the main point, then you might get some context from independent experts in housing to help people decide what they think of it.

    What you more often see is ‘Landlords attack logic of Green housing policy’. Before the reader knows what the policy is, they're told that there was a negative response and invited to dismiss it as unworkable. Somehow it's more important to tell you the self-interested opinion of a landlord than it is to give you accurate information about the policy itself. You’ll see this pattern all the time, and it reflects poorly on the news organisations that use it.

    It's not that the opinions of people affected by a policy are irrelevant. They could be included further down the article, or be spun out into a whole separate article. But if they're presented as the most important thing to know, that’s an attempt to discourage you from making up your own mind.

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