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Recent News

Events of note in the world of strategic framing and communications – from the Topos perspective

Government is Good for Business: Critiquing Eduardo Saverin

Government creates a great environment for business: a critique of Facebook’s Eduardo Saverin.

Progressive advocates know that no matter their issue focus, it is essential to make a case for government at every opportunity to blunt an unrelenting conservative assault. But, it can be difficult to artfully and effectively weave this story into the urgent issues of the day. In a piece in The Nation today, Ilyse Hogue writes a great case for how government provides an environment in which businesses can thrive – all as part of a timely critique of Facebook Co-Founder Eduardo Saverin.

Ford Foundation Jobs Quality Initiative

Leading researchers and advocates meet with Topos Partnership

Topos meeting with national leaders at Ford Foundation

Topos Partnership is pleased to embark on a national research project about good jobs for the Ford Foundation. Many organizations have been trying to communicate about the need to create a more progressive economy.  And advocacy groups work to build support for specific policies, such as paid leave, minimum wage, and so on.  However, the middle level that bridges policy and economy, the conversation about the quality of jobs in our economy, is largely missing.

Our  research will fill that gap and  help guide communications at this level, as advocates work to bring their policies under one, coordinated conversation. In coming months our research will include ethnography in several states, extended, cognitive interviewing with dozens of business and political leaders, and involve many hundreds of subjects in an effort to  develop a common sense message that can enter public discourse, bring disparate policy efforts under a common frame, and work toward changing cultural understanding of job quality.

Trayvon Martin’s Death and the Media Dialogue

The tragic death of Trayvon Martin is sparking a much-needed dialogue about racism and the plight of black men, and commentators are turning to recent reports by the Topos Partnership for the Opportunity Agenda to help make the point.  In the Huffington Post, Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal notes this new research finds “correlations between media depictions of Black males and lowered life chances”:

Specifically the reports suggest causal links between media portrayals of Black males and public attitudes directed towards them, including “general antagonisms,” “exaggerated views related to criminality and violence,” “lack of identification with or sympathy for black males,” and “public support for punitive approaches to problems” related to Black males — all dynamics that have played out in the corporate media coverage of Trayvon Martin’s murder.

We hope that more awareness of this continuing, troubling dynamic will lead to culture change.