Vox's Carlos Maza: Media's "Tactical Framing" Is Why You Still Don't Understand The Green New Deal


In a video clip retweeted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Vox Media's Carlos Maza discusses the media's use of "tactical framing" when covering the Green New Deal. Maza makes the case that the public doesn't have a chance to learn what is really in the bill because coverage focuses so much on "strategy" over substance: asking "is it popular?" instead of "is it a good policy idea?"

"I have watched hours of segments about the Green New Deal, and none of them actually explained how it might work," stated Maza. "Instead they focused on the politics. Is it going to pass? Does Pelosi like it? What did Trump tweet about it? Everything except: Is it a good idea?"

"Turns out there's a name for this kind of news coverage. It is called tactical framing. And it is making us all too cynical to solve big problems before it is too late," he continued. "It is an approach to news coverage that focuses on strategy over substance. So instead of asking if this new policy proposal is a good idea, tactical framing asks: Is it popular? Can it pass? How will it play in the next election?"

"The discussion is focused on the players and the implications for them and their political careers. Not the policy or its capacity to solve a problem," said Kathleen Hall Johnson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. "Ask yourself how much of the coverage of the Green New Deal has told you what specifically is in it. You probably have no idea what the Green New Deal is. You probably have some sense that it has to do with climate change, but you probably don't know much beyond that."

"This framing makes us less informed, but it also makes us more cynical," Maza explained.

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