Prince in the Lede

Seven-time Grammy winner Prince,  known for “When Doves Cry” and “Purple Rain,” has died at the age of 57. He was found dead in the elevator of his Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, Minnesota on Thursday.

But this isn’t what this article is about. Rather, it’s about why his death was important enough to be the first story in the majority of the national news media’s programming that evening.

There is a real science behind how the national news is presented and why. It’s ingenuous and rather simple, but very nefarious, especially when used as a propaganda tool.

It comes at us simultaneously in the form of agenda-setting and framing.

Agenda-setting describes the media’s ability to influence public opinion by telling us the news they want us to know and telling us what to think about the news that’s being presented. This stimulates the audiences into believing a particular issues importance, while framing, which is extremely subtle, causes the unsuspecting viewer to have a particular response.

Human interest stories, which appeal to emotion (a particular response,) are an excellent example of the media’s use of agenda-setting and framing. Most every night the final segment to a national newscast is the ever-popular human interest story.

This happens every time we sit-down and watch a national newscast — we’re manipulated into believing that certain news items like the passing of a famous musician has greater relevance to our lives than all the new regulations the federal government is imposing on our God-given liberties. And so you’ll know, the Federal Registry issued 142 pages of new regulations, rules and other notices on the day of Prince’s death.

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Prince in the Lede

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