Over the years people have "learned" to view documentaries as truth, to naively accept the information presented as fact and this has left viewers vulnerable to the manipulation of the documentary producer. Documentaries have earned a reputation as always being true and including factual information and it has become difficult for us, society, to escape the manipulation which occurs. We must realise that a documentary is not a mere factual recording of information but is a construction of meaning, presented from a specific view point. While the documentary producer may intend to present an objective position, the point of view conveyed is always influenced by his/her own discourse. Audiences across the world are "tricked" into believing that documentaries are "100%" true but really a viewpoint has been constructed to persuade the viewer into believing or agreeing with a particular idea or statement. The beauty of a documentary is that the producer is able to affect a large target audience to react in a desired manner by selecting and combining elements of key issues. Many elements come into play to influence us - the audience: camera angles, music, use of language and juxtaposition. These are just a few of the extraordinary strategies used by the producer to seductively alter the unaware audience's opinion on a certain subject.
Ned Kelly is perceived by many Australians as one of Australia's greatest .
outlaws or even heroes but would this perception be challenged if audiences viewed the documentary "Outlawed - .
The Real Ned Kelly?" This documentary has been produced exceptionally well to portray two contrasting images of the infamous Ned Kelly - a man with an Australian spirit who had reason for what he did, a great Australian hero, and a cold blooded outlaw. This documentary was constructed effectively - the producer was able to present two factual viewpoints on the story of Ned Kelly's life and then left the ultimate decision, as to whether Ned was a hero or an outlaw, in the audiences" hands.