This lecture focused upon the idea of fact or fiction. Is there really anything that can be truly seen as a fact aseptically when talking about news stories. Seeing as the stories are only a construction of reality. They can be vastly subjective in their opinion.
As a team we looked into the reporting around the killer clown phenomena that has swept across the world; first the USA and now across other counties including the UK and Australia. We looked at theories as to why the phenomenon started, with some speculating that it was a publicity stunt inline for a new film (re-make of Stephan Kings IT) which is due to be released September next year (2017).
The escalation of these incidents has been suggested to be connected with social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. With some people posting their encounter with the killer clowns online, which then are shared and re-tweeted over and over again to other users and platforms.
Due to the fact that most of own daily news is gained through social media sites now days, these encounters and reports are being seen as news. Although there are no forms of regulation in regards to this kind of sharing or “news”, there is a danger of the information gained from these pieces are highly subjective with little to no fact (scientific).
Facts themselves can also be a slippery road to walk on. What are facts? Are facts universal? Or are they subjective?
They can be both universal and subjective.
Bare with me on this. Lets take the theory of gravity, its a law of physics that has been proven to exist through scientific evidence, we all accept that this is a fact. Therefore it can be suggested to be a universal truth or fact.
Of corse we could argue that the name “gravity” given to the force that keeps us on the ground is a construct and that gravity as a word does not have meaning by itself. But never the less the force is still there, it could be called “stick” or “box” or some other word, but this word not change the force or what it does. Might make the song “Gravity” from Wicked sound a little strange.
Now then on to the subjective part. While we all share some “universal truths”, we also have our own internal reasoning system by which we might decide what is true for us and what we might consider to be a fact. One of my lecture used an example of a person who is born as female, who feels and believes that they are a man. While from the outside this can be argued to not be true, for that person it is not only true but a fact. To them they are a man. This can be due to our own internal perception of reality, which has formed through both biological traits and social influences.
However it has been suggested that the only truth is “I think therefore I am” I can use reasoning to deduce that I am alive.
Overall fact and fiction not just within the media but also philosophically is a tricky question.
We know that the media leaves out carefully selected information in order to portray a representation of reality. For example choosing to shoot a photograph from a particular angle can cast someone as either the victim or the villain.
But then we have to ask is it wrong for them to show something in this way, or is it simply their interpretation of events?
Should the audience see everything?
So many questions so little time.
And maybe a little less sleep.