As the story continues to unfold in Tunisia, ideally we will move beyond oversimplification and provide the historical and cultural contexts necessary to understand what happened there and what will happen as a result of it. But those first, simple stories deserve scrutiny, too—especially stories like this one, where many readers don’t have much background knowledge about the region. These stories don’t always have legs; Tunisia will soon drop from the front page, and likewise drop from readers’ minds. That’s why we must stay vigilant against the double dangers of oversimplification and easy narratives. When something happens that kicks a slowly-developing international story into the mainstream, as we saw late last week, the first frames are the ones that stick.

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Lauren Kirchner is a freelance writer covering digital security for CJR. Find her on Twitter at @lkirchner