26 May 2010

(Attempting to) Create the News

It's an age-old question: do the mass-media merely report the news, or do they create it? To my mind, there is little doubt that an editor or producer's ability to sway public opinion and convey a particular point-of-view is unmatched by any other profession. Even professional politicians rely on the same sorts of out-of-context video clips to create public opinion that is unfavourable to their opponents as do biased news reporters.

Questions of questionable ethics aside, there remains the issue of tactility - whom do the newsmedia intend to touch and in what ways? - that takes on an almost frightening dimension of incitement to hatred in many cases. The following exposé, broadcast on Australian television demonstrates the principles at issue.

So here's a question for Canadians and Americans: In what substantive way (i.e., difference in kind, not merely extent) does the original Australian news coverage of the altercation differ from Stephen Harper's attack ads, or the type of rabble-rousing nonsense used by Fox News to rile up the Tea Partiers?

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