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Frontline - Telling the Truth

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Introduction

Frontline - Telling the Truth Ruby Mitchell In exploring Rob Sitch's television series "Frontline" it has become evident that the truth is rarely pure and never simple. The truth, in many cases is a construct, as the realities presented in modern day society will be at one point of view, making the truth incomplete, oversimplified or distorted. Any meaning we derive from any text is influenced by its medium, form, language and perspective. Frontline depicts this idea through satirizing how current affairs programs manipulate the truth. The program in itself can be thought of a construction of the truth, as it is Rob Sitch's opinion urging viewers to think critically of what the media presents us. Frontline is a good example of how the medium of production, which is in this case, television, can influence meaning. The episode "Playing the Ego Card" illustrates this through the use of images. Mike's attempted interview in Bougainville shows how medium of production can influence meaning the attempted use of visual images. An example of this is the staging of gunfire and an interview with troops. The soldiers are dressed in camouflage uniforms and are armed with guns creating and image of danger and war. To contribute to this conception Mike is talking in a hushed voice, situated behind foliage, crouching. ...read more.

Middle

Satire is used to show that Brooke's concerned nature towards the woman she is interviewing is false through contrast between the on-screen and off-screen. An example of this is when Brooke, after finding the camera ran out of batteries, asks the woman to cry again, showing her self centred and unconcerned attitude. Frontline also conveys how language is another aspect that can influence the meaning of a text. In the episode and "The Siege" language is often dramatic and exaggerated in order to manipulate the way the audience perceives the truth. An example of this is the melodramatic terminology used during Frontline's coverage of the trivial hostage situation. For instance, Mike's expressions when referring to the situation include "so we could have a Rambo situation?", "directly from the line of fire" and "stay safe". Marty's dialect during a report is also very dramatic, influencing the way the news story is perceived; "the police are warning the media out here of the very real dangers" and when responding to a news readers question of the children's safety Marty replies; "Physically, yes. Of course, who knows what psychological scars they may bear from this incident." "Playing the Ego Card" is another episode that illustrates how language contributes to the construction of a truth by creating excitement, interest and tension. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mike acts as a professional compromiser when he clearly has no experience in the field. He speaks to the gunman and children, putting their lives in danger and disregards the authority of the police. An example of the confronting questions Mike poses in order to gain ratings is; "Amy are you afraid?" and "Is Daddy pointing a gun at you?" Brian's response to this is "Sensational". Reinforcing this idea is the celebration that follows Frontline's coverage of the story. The program is thrilled at the ratings they have achieved, not showing any concern for the outcome of the siege. For example "Melbourne thirty four, thirty six. Sydney thirty-four, thirty-four. We bloody creamed 'em!" Evidently, it is unmistakable that the truth is rarely pure and never simple. This is because the truth, in many cases is a construct, as the realities presented in modern day society will be at one point of view, making the truth incomplete, oversimplified or distorted. This is depicted in the program Frontline as it shows how the meaning we derive from any text is influenced by its medium, form, language and perspective. Frontline satirizes how current affairs programs manipulate the truth. However, it must be considered that the program in itself can be thought of a construction of the truth, as it is Rob Sitch's opinion urging viewers to think critically of what the media presents us. ...read more.

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