Analyse An Event Reported On By The Media And The Ways In Which They Position The Viewer To Respond To The Event

2009 words - 8 pages

English SeminarImagine owning a crystal ball which can show you anything that is happening in the world. But then imagine that someone is controlling what and how the crystal ball shows you these events. This is the media in a nutshell. Whilst it is a powerful and useful source of information, we mustn't forget that it is only a representation and doesn't mirror the reality of unfolding events. Just as we cannot see every single side to an issue, the media presents us with a partial perspective of a story, determined by its political, cultural and corporate background. The following presentation will analyze the aspects of positioning, discourses, cultural context and draw conclusions as to the impact of the media upon our understanding. In the specific case of the Beslan hostage crisis official media publications have failed to address why the situation occurred.Throughout the first article, specific information was privileged and silenced in an effort to create an anti-Chechen position that the reader would accept and adopt. Throughout the article, the author reported on how the Russian "special forces", "overcame", "traded fire", "battled" and "stormed" the Chechen "separatists". The author deliberately chose to describe the Russian troops in this manner in order to create the dominant viewpoint that they are civilised, professional and saviours. In an effort to ensure the reader agrees with this dominant viewpoint, the author constructs the Chechen's as being "separatist rebels", "Arabs", "militants", who "killed crying children". Furthermore, graphic descriptions which appeal to the reader's emotions were deliberately fore-grounded to ensure the reader viewed the Chechen's as barbaric murderers. Such descriptions as "crying children", "some naked and covered in blood", "children whose shattered, bloody bodies were placed on lines of stretchers" and "terrified children with bloody faces ran screaming" appeals to the emotions of the reader. Possibly the most implicit way the author chooses to position the reader is the way he/she attempts to establish a link between the deaths and who is at fault for such atrocities. Specific gaps are left in the article, which detail the onset of gunfire from the terrorist ranks to coincide with the death of innocent hostages. By foregrounding the graphic, horrific nature of the attacks the reader is discouraged from investigating the political and historic circumstances which led to the Beslan attacks.This article addresses a number of discourses. The discourse of terrorism is represented by the journalist in a series of snapshot images. We are positioned to sympathize with the children "naked, bloodied and crying" they are presented as the innocent victims of this horrific act. Whilst condemning the heartless "militant acts" as a crime against humanity. The discourse of war is combined with binaries of good vs. evil and community vs. the others. The authorities are presented as forces of good within our...

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