Jack Langman - News and Current Affairs Essay.
In the era of information, or more specifically information technology, we are daily bombarded with news and images, each presenting us a different version of a truth. A number of factors related to news and current affairs influence the meaning, or "version of reality" that we take away. It can be strongly argued that there is no truth, and the construction of the story, as well as the perspective of the audience interpreting the presentation contributes to the meaning we extract.
A number of different levels can be considered when analysing a news or current affairs presentation. The first is the underlying information presented to the viewer. This is altered by selecting information that supports a viewpoint, and emphasising certain portions of the story. The next main factor is the construction of the story. Many people contribute to the "editing" process, not the least of which is the audience the story is targeted towards, with stations constantly battling for those vital ratings. Journalists, presenters, TV station managers, and many others are also involved in the construction of the story. There are also a cohort of devices used to influence the presentation, such as supporting graphics, sound, lighting, framing and more. The final stage in the presentation of a news story is the interpretation, or acceptance by the audience, based on their existing opinions, values and beliefs. To analyse these features, this essay will refer in detail to the news broadcasts on ABC and GWN (Seven News) on Monday 19th May, and Wednesday 14th May. .
Selection of information in the construction of the story is perhaps one of the most vital factors in determining the version of reality the viewer receives. The differences between the two presentations can be very pronounced. Ignoring certain aspects of a story, or selecting other parts, can have a major effect on the way the story is received.