the faking of news

One of the nice things that we get to enjoy in our boondocksy life is that, there is no constant invasion of our minds by TV channels and their screaming anchors & other such asinine louse souls, no offence meant at my dear donkeys, of course.

However, one does get to ‘see’ some bits of TV here and there, especially when visiting other folks’ homes  – and sometimes I do get to occasionally discuss some excesses of the TV reportage with our impressionable adolescents at the school – now,  hold your breadth, we discussed the voyeuristic coverage (and self-righteous condemnations) of the invasions into the privacy of  ‘alleged’ young Nithyananda (who was perhaps merely affected by hormones, like it happens to the rest of us) and it was interesting to listen to the views of the adolescents. Many of them had either seen (!) the footages or had heard (!!) the details of the frames from others – and, more importantly, had their individual opinions

And NO, sirs and madams, we did not talk about the angle  of the  ‘consenting adults’ who have every right to do whatever they feel is right, as long as what they do, does not impinge on the rights and freedoms of the other individuals. Nor did we discuss the bottomless abyss of a schism that exists between the so called talking and their actual walking. So, please heave sighs of relief.

Our idea was mainly to discuss to media misrepresentations of happenings and deliberately skewed reportage. We may eventually incorporate some of Noam Chomsky’s ideas too in our future discussions, in spite of the empty rhetoric in most of his ideas and his grandiose theories with veritable holes (example: ‘the theory of universal grammar’), and the deep schism that exists between what he preaches and what he actually practices. But Chomsky is a reasonable starting point. However, the sooner one gets to go beyond Chomsky, the better it is!  (more on these and other stuff, later)

Now, here’s a very humorous ‘in your face’ kind of swipe against the news peddlers  by Charlie Brooker. Please ignore the expletives in his sarcastic takes, if you must.

The world’s most generic news report – Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe (this has embedded subtitles, just in case you needed it)

There are more such parodies off the same Brooker, in the same youtube page. All good quality stuff, strongly recommended.

I also recall that, in that nicely crafted film – A Wednesday – the film director Neeraj Pandey takes a delicious swipe at how the news ‘making’ happens.

Enjoy – more importantly, reflect!

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  • anamika  On September 3, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    what an interesting discussion…and to have a space to exchange ideas with young people on matters such as the nithyanands of the world is bliss-

    • Ramjee Swaminathan  On September 7, 2010 at 5:20 am

      Thanks Anamika – for the suggestion. Wag the Dog, yes. In fact, last (lost?) year, we were looking at advertisements in depth – their texts, subtexts, innuendos and had some interesting discussions too. A few weeks back we looked at some advertisements and analyzed the really, really bad science that go with them. May be at some point of time, I would post some details about that.

      Apparently, Peepli (live) is a nicely puttogether film about the skews thare are media – should ‘see’ that.

  • anamika  On September 3, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    and your students might enjoy the film “wag the dog” in the contect of skewed media representations

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