Frame Your Narrative

Frame your media narrative before others do it for you.  When reporting controversial news, journalists frequently drive the narrative by casting predictable characters who include the victim, villain, hero, witness, expert and village idiot. By casting characters, reporters are able to to do their research on the run while they write history in a hurry. For example, in the Wells Fargo debacle involving the creation of fictitious accounts, the characters are as follows:

Victim – Wells Fargo clients

Villain – Wells Fargo

Hero – Senator Elizabeth Warren

Witness – Whistleblowers

Experts – Governance, compliance

Village Idiot – CEO John Stumpf

For Wells Fargo to have gotten ahead of the scandal, it should have been quicker in acknowledging the wrongdoing. By the time the CEO apologized, the narrative was firmly set.