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Uploaded by vdg on Nov 23, 2003


The term ‘truth’ is defined as the unbiased and actual portrayal of an event or situation. However, in the context of the area of study, it is shown that truth may be consciously or unconsciously manipulated whenever representation occurs. . Through the satiric television series Frontline, in particular the episodes the Siege and Smaller Fish to Fry; two contrasting photos representing the Boer War (by) in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend magazine and the poem ‘Mirror’ by Sylvia Plaith, the assertion that our access to the truth is impeded by those with power is justified. The techniques used to explore these ideas include filmic and dramatic devices such as characterisation , satire, irony and humour; visual devices such as lighting, positioning and visual juxtaposition; and poetic devices such as personification and metaphors.

Frontline acts as a comic, but deceptively insightful parody, through which current affairs programs and their motto of “conveying the truth” is mocked. The show highlights the unorthodox influence those with powerful assert over society’s access to the truth. This is demonstrated by the episode the ‘Siege’ and ‘Smaller Fish to Fry’. The exaggerated immoral and unethical actions of the Frontline characters serve to highlight the true value, such ratings and image driven programs, hold for conveying the ‘. Both episodes employ the device of visual juxtaposition of the on-air and the ‘behind the scenes’ activities and work ethics of the team. The realistic quality of filming in the “behind the scenes” aspects of each episode serves to portray the real truth of the situation. Thus in itself Frontline the series also attempts to represent the truth.

The episode “The Siege”, satirises the integrity claimed by journalists. The Frontline team deliberately distorts and manipulates the “truth” in order to increase ratings during a Hostage Crisis. They view the event as “mundane”, and instead of conveying the simple yet “uninteresting” truth of the situation, prefer to sensationalise the event to heighten the buzz on the story. Parody is used continuously to comment on the ways the media manipulate the truth. For example, Marty’s crouched pose a mere five kilometers from the scene whilst reporting, is intended to ‘ look like he’s really in danger”, an obvious sensationalism of how the media attempts to imitate real life situations. This example also demonstrates the manner in which representation influences meaning. The fabrication of Marty’s “dangerous” situation lends the story a...

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Uploaded by:   vdg

Date:   11/23/2003

Category:   Miscellaneous

Length:   6 pages (1,296 words)

Views:   2547

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