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Recent News

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

Responding to the “Job Killer” Allegation

Everyone knows the simple rule about repetition being key to changing public understanding. Here’s a new finding about the framing of government policy that researchers and advocates need to consider: The  number of news stories using the phrase  “job killer” about a policy idea increased significantly between 1984 and 2011.

A new study, “Job Killers” in the News: Allegations without Verification, by Professors Peter Dreier of Occidental College and Christopher R. Martin of the University of Northern Iowa, revealed that  “job killer” allegations were targeted at policies to safeguard consumers, protect the environment, raise wages, expand health insurance coverage, increase taxes on the wealthy, and make workplaces safer.

Most troubling is the study’s finding that in 92% of the stories alleging that a government policy was a “job killer,” the news media failed to cite any evidence for this claim.

A recent Topos memo, Rebutting the Idea of Business Taxes as “Job Killers”, addresses this issue and makes recommendations about pivoting and inoculating against this claim in order to build broad support for progressive policy proposals.

Strategies for Debt Ceiling Talk and a Deficit of Understanding

From House Speaker Boehner’s warnings about the next debt ceiling debate to Mitt Romney’s addition of a debt clock prop to his campaign events, conservatives have signaled that they intend to make the federal deficit and government spending the focus of their economic message.

In this short strategy memo, Topos offers advice for how progressives can blunt this attack, and help Americans understand why government spending is necessary to economic recovery.




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.