Sunday, July 13, 2008

Media Reacts To Being Duped

The Chicago Tribune, along with many other papers, were quick to print corrections Friday for the missile photo printed and posted Thursday. This article provided some context to other video manipulations circulating the web, while the Trib also ran this as a news piece highlighting the differences between the real and allegedly altered photos.

Benderoff interviewed Bob Steele, journalism professor at DePauw University.
"We're not only gullible but we're becoming greedy as consumers," said Bob Steele, an ethics professor for journalism at DePauw University in Indiana. "We want more and more information and we're willing to believe anything these days.

"That greed is manifested in putting out a lot of information that is not properly vetted and verified. That's dangerous. Not only does it erode the credibility of news organizations, but it also erodes the confidence of our society in what we see."
I was reading Thursday about Australian media and there was an essay regarding representation. I had read a similar argument earlier in a media criticism class, but it goes something like this: photos and videos are merely representations of the real and can never equal the real. There's some mention of simulacra and simulacrum, both of which ultimately confused me at the time.

This argument is of interest especially as our society's insatiable hunger for content, regardless of credibility, continues to grow. As Professor Steele had said we demand increasingly more information. But these images and videos that we demand, despite being limited representations of an event, carry the ability to influence actions and attitudes.

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