There’s an interesting framing thing going on here in New Mexico around the Fiscal Year 2008 budget. The House of Representatives is pushing some relatively deep cuts in the nuclear weapons research, development, manufacturing etc. budget. For those not familiar with New Mexico, we’re home to two large nuclear weapons labs. Those cuts would effect a significant number of jobs. That’s been the main frame around this issue, and it is a legitimate frame. But there are also substantive policy questions at stake. One is the question of where and how to manufacture new nukes. In Saturday’s story, I wrote a story that featured that frame:
Should Los Alamos National Laboratory someday become the nation’s “permanent” plutonium bomb manufacturing center?
That is one of the major policy questions behind the fight currently under way in Congress over the lab’s budget.
This is a great practical example, I think, of framing. Both frames are accurate. Both raise legitimate issues. One’s been getting all the attention, and I just felt as though it was important to offer up the other.
- Weapons Behind LANL Fight, Albuquerque Journal, Sept. 29 2007
- Discussion of the story, LANL blog (you’ll also find a lot of other discussion there, some thoughtful, some not so much, about these two frames – jobs and nuke manufacturing)
- Framing science, Matthew Nisbet’s blog about the framing issue and other interesting poli-sci sorts of things