Movie directors have the final say on how something is shot and what scenes audiences will see; even the overall story behind the movie is framed through the director’s eyes. The vision behind this craftsmanship is what draws you in; it is how the content is shifted in order to provide more action, more drama, and more laughter all in an effort to provide entertainment that captures your attention.
Shows like the Real World on MTV have the ability to bring viewers distorted reality TV. Episodes consist of fights, sexuality, and fun in order to draw audiences into the type of show that gets people talking. This might be more exciting to watch, but the ability of the director and producer to add spin creates a distorted vision that leaves out crucial details behind the real story.
Media companies are the most guilty of distorting the reality of something in order to provide the side, or angle, that probably will be the most controversial, all in an effort to keep viewer’s eyes glued on the TV (or the Internet as IPTV hit the mainstream yesterday).
Media companies originally cared about accuracy of the news, focused on providing the public with factual news they could use. Building viewers was based on relevance and the truth of the story. This was news you could count on, “news you could trust.”
Greed though, has been the driving force behind companies and individuals looking to make money since the dawn of time: ‘How much money can we squeeze out of this segment, how much can we generate from this portion of the business?’ These are the questions and thought processes of the world’s corporate leaders. Monetization of anything and everything in order to create revenue streams is what makes businesses successful. Investors love companies that can make them more money, and businesses want to be the most powerful company in the world.
Since the dawn of time, companies like U.S. Steel, Standard Oil, AT&T, and Microsoft have been able to create monopolies of some sort by being able to dominate the market. This greed, this passion, and the drive to be the best are what capitalism is about. Media is now the newest form of greed. Companies all over the world have been competing to get their hands on the newest Web sites in order to create more traffic, and more media advertising in order to create greater revenues.
At what lengths does the media go to in order to reach the most potential viewers, or the largest audience, in order to generate the most media dollars? News stories are shown at the most obscure of angles, with spins and twists that leave you dizzy and unclear on the truth. If Fox covers a story from one angle, ABC might take an alternate angle just to draw in the other viewers who don’t believe Fox’s take on the story.
Throughout the years, high-profile court cases have been prime examples of how the public views a person in a crime. How the film is shot, what audiences are targeted, and the ratio of bad to good puts a perception in the publics eye as to whether someone is guilty or not. Take O.J. Simpson’s case, which might be one of the most public cases in history, for example:
Cameras were set up inside the courtroom all day; reporters interviewed people on the streets about their opinion of his innocence. If six people interviewed believed that O.J. was guilty, and two that believed he was innocent, you would get the overall perception that he should be guilty. People tend to be sheep, believing what the media tells them. Even after the case was over, you still could feel the perception that the media though he was guilty and they filmed it that way.
“I have one problem … with the media and how they will couch things, and kind of skew it to the negative; I’ve said that to the media in this country,” O.J. said in an interview.
He later added, “When my trial was over and I was driving home, if you took a camera and scrolled the street I had people cheering. The media liked that they found one or two negative things and kind of zoomed in on those people who were upset, but if you look at the whole line, you saw people cheering for me.”
The same thing is happening with Michael Vick, who is now in the object of the public’s eyes as the latest super trial to hit the media.
Referencing the case, O.J. said,”I see it with Michael Vick, last week I saw that 90 percent of the people last Wednesday or Thursday said he was guilty. And that was before any real charges were filed. We are in a country now that’s like the old Judge Roy Bean. ‘I’m going to give you a fair trial and then I’m going to hang you!’But then media say’s ‘I’m going to hang you and then I’m going to give you a fair trial.’ I don’t see how this guy in any way could get a fair trial.”
He went on to add, “Unfortunately for Michael Vick, nobody’s cheering for him. I just saw yesterday, finally the NAACP, and somebody is saying, let the man have due process.
Other incidents of the negative lining include Kenny Rogers with the cameraman, Ron Artest after Detroit attacked him, Tank Johnson’s speeding incident, or even the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski scandal.
These twists and spins are for revenue purposes only. The perception of these people, although famous and in the spotlight, is generally and consistently skewed to the negative for media companies and news agencies own incentives.
Can you blame them though? If you don’t make money, you can’t stay in business. The chairmen of the board can’t get rich, entertainment would be limited, and the positive effect the media has on the economy would be greatly decreased. Where will you get the truth? Can you trust the media anymore to give you the real facts?
Yesterday, the truth was finally given a chance. A public figure looking to tell his story LIVE, unedited, and how he wanted to be seen in front of the cameras, was finally give the chance. Although you can post your own video on YouTube, Facebook, or MySpace, never before has a media outlet been able to provide a platform of truth someone who has been told what to say since day one.
Finanlly, O.J. Simpson was given the chance to tell his story. He was given the opportunity to show his side of the story, and but how the media has affected not only his life, but also how it affected his image in the public light during the trial. No longer was he seen as the great “Running Back,” or NFL personality. He was viewed as a criminal, guilty before trial.
Referencing the interview on his blog site, O.J. stated, “For the most part, I enjoyed it. It’s nice to finally be able to talk without being so edited. You know overly edited. Most interviews I do, I feel like I’m being cross-examined. One of the reasons I wanted to do this was because it gave me the opportunity to enlighten the public about a lot of things and a lot of misconceptions … one of those being the whole thing about the Bronco.”
IPTV might finally be able to provide an outlet for disgruntled victims of mass media’s distorted reality. The outlet for them has been provided, a way to reach the public and tell their story, one that doesn’t have to be edited, or one that the FCC can’t control. Politicians, actors, athletes can now get back and answer what the media has misconstrued. They no longer need major media to broadcast their statements, which will be edited to fit the need and potentially leave out vital information.
The new platform has been set, and the future is here for the next wave of media. Truth can finally be told, and may the truth finally be what the these slighted individuals need to set them free.