A Current Affair wouldn’t lie, would they?

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Media texts are a pivotal part of our society. They provide insight and discussion into current issues that dramatically influence the way we perceive them. These arguments, however, are not always independent and the ideologies are usually based on the views of the hierarchy of the company or corporation. In the case of ‘A Current Affair’ (or ACA for short), they are always portraying people differently in a way that helps shape the feeling of the article, whether that feeling is subjective or objective.

With the versatility of modern media, it is easy to falsely portray someone. Voice recordings can be altered, facial expressions can be closely scrutinised and body language can be effortlessly analysed. Put all these neutral elements of communication into a computer, and with a few hours of editing, you can shape that particular person to be in either a positive or negative light. This is a standard feature of ‘A Current Affair’ as many of their articles are obviously negative or slant towards a negative theme.

 

‘A Current Affair’s’ articles are one- sided; they only show one portrayal of the story. They always seem to interview people, who don’t want to respond back, or people who don’t necessarily appear educated enough to reply with a positive rebuttal. With this in mind, how can one think they are being given a fair perspective of the story? This further reduces the reliability and credibility of their argument. Here is a clear example, http://mumbrella.com.au/acma-finds-current-affair-breach-asian-mall-story-177919

 

As noted by media programme, ‘The Chasers War on Everything’, ACA continually use techniques like slow-motion walking shots, and ‘dodgy guy’ music to create a sense of immediate angst from the audience towards the subject.

It is not accurate to assume that all of the people are unfairly represented in the programme, but knowing that some of them are raises the question of accuracy and reliability of the rest of the stories. In a study done by Australia Communications and Media Authority, it showed that only 23%of people agreed current affairs programs are always accurate with what the present. The study also claims,”….from the qualitative research, it was evident that the community was shocked as to the nature of the inaccuracies that occur in the programs. That is, the public did not expect key facts to be consciously omitted, distorted or misused, or fabricated on commercial current affairs programs.”

This could be debated in a public sphere, being able to give arguments for both sides. Although most Australian’s would not be informed about these techniques ACA uses, and therefore believe all that is shown and depicted in the article. Current affairs shows are not bad places for the public to get information, although viewers should take the information on board, with slight scepticism, as we know not everything in the article is given a neutral viewpoint. The public deserves to be shown an impartial account of the story so that we can cast our own judgements.

References:

http://www.acma.gov.au/~/media/mediacomms/Research%20library%20reports%20old/pdf/current_affairs_program_research_part-01_executive_report%20pdf.pdf

 

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2 thoughts on “A Current Affair wouldn’t lie, would they?

  1. You make an interesting point in saying that the way a message is framed in the media, manipulating sources by focusing only on some views or taking views out of context, can create a strong one-sided argument. This can be quite alarming if we, the viewers, only use one source of information to form our own views and opinions on a subject matter.

    A Current Affair tends to focus on the negative views to create fear in their stories. It is a bit concerning how they can transform car parks into the “most dangerous place in Australia”

    I really enjoyed reading your post, it raised some very thought provoking ideas about the power news programs have over personal views and behaviour.

    Like

  2. jessica_galea

    This was really good, well done!
    I think you did really well detailing the ways in which A Current Affair IS a mediated forum, but I’d love to hear more about the why. Which network owns A Current Affair? Who owns that network? What else does that person have stakes in? What agenda might they be trying to push on the general public? Clearly much of A Current Affair’s reporting revolves around the creation of a villain figure. Who is normally presented as this villain? What does that tell us? All this would tie in really well with the concept of impartiality that you brought up.
    Also, I’d be interested in learning more about A Current Affair’s continuing relevance as a public sphere. I need statistics to back me up, but I feel as though the upcoming younger generations rely far less heavily on television journalism shows like A Current Affair, and that would take a lot of the power away from them as we move onward to the future.

    Like

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