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Writing Skills for Journalists - an insight in to the strange fascination that people have with making a catastrphie or the destruction of an object a media event.

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Introduction

Justin Camilleri B.Communications 3rd year I.D: 532276(M) ENG 1003 Writing Skills for Journalists AN INSIGHT INTO THE STRANGE FASCINATION THAT PEOPLE HAVE WITH MAKING A CATATROPHE OR THE DESTRUCTION OF AN OBJECT A MEDIA EVENT. This opinion article tries to outline why the destruction of New York is presented in films and takes the 11th September terrorist attack as a case study and it attempts to find reasons why disasters that happen in real life remain stamped in the imagination of the human psyche. The destruction of the New York skyline has long been an obsession for the American film industry. It is depicted a lot in the Planet of the Apes series when in the first film's memorable closing sequence we see Charlton Heston finding the Statue of liberty half buried in the sand. The sequel " Beneath the Planet of the Apes" goes one step further where it has Charlton Heston and James Franciscus finding a destroyed subterranean New York City where they witness the tragic ruins of the New York Public Library, the New York Stock Exchange and the Radio City Music Hall. The fourth installment "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" has the Apes completely destroying New York City and if one goes back in time to 1933 the Monster Movie that started it all! King Kong culminated with a battle between this gigantic ape and the American air force atop the empire state building. ...read more.

Middle

" There is nothing to be really shocked about" explains Antonio Preiti sociologist and scholar of behavioral studies at the Societa di Ricerche Sociometrica di Roma because it is part of the Tourism logic that traveling around means spending money, time and energy to look for something new that is quite different than the norm. For example the last stretch of land pertaining to a Rainforest in the Amazon has been all photographed and so now we must go beyond what is beautiful and view what is destroyed or must be destroyed. It's like a call for the human being to go back to his animal instincts. It can be, that the wonder of traveling is no longer in searching different cultures and colourful localities where people live, but to seek violent events and destructive situations. The more catastrophic they are, the more they are attractive, no wonder many audiences were fascinated at the Planet of the Apes ending, because it was the first time they saw a scene of the Statue of liberty ravaged by war in comparison to the clean, secure pictures of encyclopedias and tourist magazines. Speaking personally about myself when I saw this movie, the scene was too much for me, because as it stands, I always saw the statue of liberty as representing something commemorative, yet I could not take away the thought that sprang to my mind as to what if ? ...read more.

Conclusion

Has the world become so predictable that a disaster is the only thing that will surprise us and show us how small we really are? Is it a psychological perverted mechanism or just normal curiosity? The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychological Association all agree that the depiction of violence or destruction in the media is related to aggression in real life. This includes the news, according to Jeffrey Johnson of Columbia University in New York. He said " One thing I did find of great concern was that when I learned, that the American networks were repeatedly showing images of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center ... and that they only stopped, when some of the family's victims pleaded with them to stop, he said. This is all indicative of the problem as to how accidents are projected on the media and the impact they leave on the viewers. They should not be glorified by the movie industry/media, nor be used as a mechanism to spark off a chain of events or message. This is why there must be responsibility and the need to draw the line and not go forward with a way of thought of it bleeds, it leads. That is the problem. We are all in a position to take responsibility to think about what we're watching and as the repeatedly airing of certain events can traumatize people and may lead then to act in a certain way, therefore education and awareness are necessary. ...read more.

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