strategies> Media Watch
Breaking News, a performance
"Up to 1400 Britons may have died yesterday
and experts predict more deaths today.
I’m Season Butler and this is breaking news"
Breaking News is about diction, word choice and the way these two devices
are used in the media to manipulate viewers, exploiting their fear to
create a captive audience. Presenting fact and truth has become secondary
(at best) to making sure that a viewer keeps their television switched
on and tuned in to my station. The death estimated death tolls of the
July 7th bombings were reported to have been in the hundreds around midday,
and later revealed to have been much lower. The same thing occurred in
the reporting of the hurricane Katrina casualties. But news audiences
had to be kept on the edge of the seats. Macabre promises of even more
deaths, even more images of the catastrophes, made it almost impossible
to turn away. Television news is a powerful medium with the ability to
manipulate, change and even create truth as it reports facts. Only awareness
that this manipulation takes place and refusal to be passive viewers will
allow truth to survive in an age of information.