“I saw it on TV, therefore it must be true” Andrew Graystone #Medialit11


We’re looking at the ‘phone in scandals’, e.g. Richard & Judy (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/jul/06/broadcasting.channel4, which cost user £1 per call although no chance of entry), Blue Peter (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1556853/BBC-fined-over-Blue-Peter-phone-in-scandal.html, voting for cats name, no £ involved), Ant and Dec (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/oct/21/ITV.television).

Raising questions of integrity. What about the video re: The Queen (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/video/2007/oct/05/queen.controversy)?

Does the story need to be edited to be told honestly, or doesn’t it matter? Not so much about ‘the truth itself’, but about the impact it has on the person? About all of it.

Pictures: Mediating Truth

Does it matter about the image of ‘Hermione’ in the Harry Potter poster (her hair is highlighted, her bust has been enhanced, etc.). Harry Potter is full of digital effects so does it matter? What about the pictures that affect how people think (e.g. the many issues about body image).  The ethics of using e.g. PhotoShop when you’re a photographer.

See http://listverse.com/2007/10/19/top-15-manipulated-photographs/, we discuss Mary Ann Vecchio image. Andrew gives us some extra information which demonstrates that the change is a political act, rather than just an image tweak.

See http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-17871257-doctored-photo-row.do, Anne Widdecome had not given permission for this, so it’s misrepresenting her views.

Does it matter than for 4 days that The Sun said there was a Great White Shark spotted off the coast of Cornwall: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-474114/Photograph-Cornwalls-great-white-shark-hoax.html. Does this matter? The Cornish Tourist Board would have concerns (or could they capitalise on it?). It’s scaremongery, and the initial photo of “Jaws” style shark particularly misleading. Surely The Sun is for entertainment, not news?! But it purports to be news.

What about the image from the Madrid train photo http://tomdiaz.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/the-case-against-terror-suspect-najibullah-zazi-fbi-affidavit-reveals-elegant-work/madrid-bombing-large-01-2/? Many newspapers cropped or photoshopped the image to remove the body part. Is that an issue? Some newspapers after this furore now indicate if the photo has been manipulated again.  Should the responsibility have laid with the photographer or. …?

EXERCISE: Media Ethics The group split into four and discussed the ethics of publishing specific materials, e.g. copyright materials, hate-filled material, deceiving contestants, where circulated, use of hidden cameras, complying with police requests, keeping quiet about hostage situation, putting people’s lives at risk vs newsworthiness (e.g. Prince Harry to Afghanistan) etc.

Legal, moral, professional and moral judgements coming into play.  Nobody can force (community) radio stations, etc. to run particular material.  Most of these exercises had no clear/obvious answer!

7 Principles of Engaging in the Digital Space (by @andrewgraystone)

  • Singularity of Personality (express differently on different platforms, online/offline spaces, but they are all rooted back “to me”)
  • Humanising digital relationships (work hard at humanising the relationship between the content creators and consumers, recognise that we’re all flawed human beings at either end of the media)
  • Conscientization/Education (our generation needs a widespread education to understand the power dynamics ongoing in the digital environment, control own presence)
  • Authority and Openness (what do you know how to believe/trust, ensure that your media can be traced back to the real you – do you reject pseudonyms in the digital space?)
  • Digital Justice (guarding against primarily treating individuals as consumers, ensuring that there is access to information irrespective of wealth, are we creating a ‘digital poor’?)
  • Mission and Service (what does it mean to serve in a hyper-connected planet)
  • The priority of embodiment (those we meet with face-to-face are “more important” than those online to engage with).

All are up for dispute and discussion!


About bigbible

The #BigBible Project. Educating in the digital spaces, creating 'bigger Bible conversations' between #digidisciple(s). Look out for #bigread14.