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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

media narratives « Previous | |Next »
April 27, 2008

A simple image but it does show how reportage in the mass media is embedded in narrative. That narrative is the media's own, and it indicates how the media engages in politics as a player. Of course, the media deny this as they hide behind the old liberal "fair and balanced", "neutrality" ethos or the positivist one of "reporting the facts" as distinct from commentary.

ChinaAustralia.jpg Sharpe

No one outside the media is fooled by the hollow pipe interpretation even if they unconditionally reject the conduit metaphor of the Old Left. If communicative media were hollow pipes there would be little purpose in analyzing their narrative potential; any kind of narrative could be fitted into the pipe and restored to its prior shape at the end of the transfer. The news or reportage is a form of story telling.

Once we move beyond seeing reportage and television programmes as transparent representations of the world we need to consider some of the ways in which media texts mediate the world to us. One of the most important of these is through the codes and conventions of narrative. Narratives rely on the presentation of an initial state of order which is in some way disturbed, order and disequilibrium, in relation to a on a particular problem or set of problems. Narratives, in short, have to be about change, disturbance, disorder.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:58 PM | | Comments (3)


there may be media narratives--western ones about China's poor human rights record and lack of freedom of speech---but the Chinese government did stoke and fuel hardline patriotism and anti-western sentiment in response to the protests about Tibet and around the Olympic flame. That response did border on xenophobia.

If we are talking about media narratives then Tthe Australian's is that an ice is coming not global warming. Things--global temperatures--are cooling down not warming up. That's their narrative.

The Islamic terrorists are everywhere and threatening to kill us is another big narrative.

There's media and there's media. The Australian gets attention in the blogosphere that is disproportionate to its audience and influence everywhere else. TV news pretty much takes global warming for granted and has forgotten all about terrorists.

Commercial TV is caught between reporting negatively on anything Chinese and the anticipated audience of the olympic games.