When last did you fart?
I thought as much- a few minutes ago in the solitude of your room 😛 left-right-no one, annnnnd BOOOM! “rocket explosion”. Don’t blush… max 5 mins (depending on how much concentrated it is), it will fade away and life will return to normal.
That’s gross, I agree, but that is Reality. Is the News on the other hand real?. When you read news reports and watch CNN so hard you can predict the next line, do you really think reality is being brought to your T.V set and heavy-weight newspaper, or it is just another story?
I mentioned in a previous post, Return of the Prodigal Blogger that I will be talking about the content of my Masters thesis. We’ll take them in mini-bits and at the end, wrap it all into one big idea.
In the course of my research, I found many fellow academics strongly claim that the News is not an objective representation of reality, but it is constructed, framed and shaped by the journalist.
Before we go too far, objectivity is the idea that the journalist has excluded himself, his emotions, beliefs and whatever convictions he may carry from the news story when writing. Also, objectivity in news reporting stands for the idea that even the owner of the news house does not influence what gets published or aired on that medium. The motto of objectivity is, “the news is a direct depiction of the world, no tints or colouration – but a clear and raw picture of reality.”
A favourite scholar of mine, Gaye Tuchman totally disagreed. She said, the act of making news is the act of constructing a reality, rather than a picture of reality. And, to call news a story (like other story-stories) is not exactly to makes the news feel less than what it is, but to alert our thinking and understand that the news like all public documents, “is a constructed reality possessing it’s own internal validity.”
I found this quite interesting. And I also found out that Gaye was quite modest in her assertion. There were scholars who were a lot more radical. I will just go ahead and drop some quotes at the bottom:
Vasterman:news is not out there, journalists do not report news, they produce news. They construct it, they construct facts, they construct statements and they construct a context in which these facts make sense
McNair: No matter how ‘live’ the news is, regardless of how raw and visceral the account of events being brought into our living rooms appears to be, it is still a mediated version of reality…
Now the one that really cracked me up was by Herbert. He said, sometimes, news papers decide the angle, headline and tone before the facts are gathered. The global reporter’s job is often to make the facts fit the headline.
To decide the tone and headline before the facts are gathered is simply tieing objectivity to a stake and burning it like the witches of old (so says Hollywood movies).
Anyway I got chatting with a friend of mine who is a top-notch journalist, and who will slaughter me if I disclose his/her identity. Yes, it is that bad I can’t even disclose his gender. Opps! His! LOL!
I then thought… if the stories are being put into context, then perhaps ‘objective’ is not the right word to describe news-stories. Maybe we need a new ideal for this new age. Share your thoughts with me.
…. to be continued
p.s. if you are interested in the references, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org