Frontline

How has your understanding of events, personalities or situations been shaped by their representations in the texts you have studied

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth: not going all the way and not starting. In my opinion, the Truth is a very powerful weapon that can be altered almost instantly by just about anybody who has the ability to manipulate the minds of the audience. The Truth is a dynamic that can be altered or modified at any time to present new events, personalities or situations. ???Frontline??? by Rob Setch et.al. is a great representation of this.

Frontline is a contemporary current affairs show based at a commercial network. In this text, the media is exposed for its tendency to manipulate the truth in order to appeal to their audience and, hence, meet their goal to achieve high ratings. It is made evident that there is a lack of consideration in the media behind the scenes compared to those on screen and that the media simply manipulates the truth to present a caring nature whilst creating and shedding light on the drama that fuels their industry.

It is clearly evident that the truth is manipulated by the current affair program Frontline. This is done to allow them to achieve their goal of increasing ratings by any means possible. By understanding the manipulation of truth, many understandings of events, personalities and situations are newly shaped. This is clearly demonstrated in the episode Playing the Ego Card. In this episode, Frontline is presented as a ruthless current affairs program which manipulates the truth to achieve their desires and, essentially, increase their ratings. The network pretends to support all of those that work alongside them but only for as long as it benefits them as is made apparent in their confession that, ???Mike Moore has this networks 100% support??¦ right up ???til the day we sack him.??? However Brian??™s boss, the executive producer of Frontline, encourages this ruthlessness of Frontline by in his instructions that, ???you??™ve got to keep your guard up mate.??? This is done when Brian claims credit for the helicopter spotting and clearly demonstrates how ruthless the media industry can be, and how they tend to manipulate the truth to increase ratings proving that the truth is a powerful weapon that can mislead many.

Similarly, it is also noticed that according to Rob Setch et.al, hosts depend on popularity to keep their ego in optimum condition. It is revealed that the preference of the audience drives the stories that are aired. ???Only good vision makes them acceptable??? and ???a pub brawl in manly is better than a massacre of millions??? clearly demonstrate how the news delivered is one that increases their ratings and not one that is of pure truth that an audience tends to expect. This, in turn clearly exemplifies how ratings drive what news is delivered, how it is presented, and how this is mostly accomplished by manipulating the truth.

Concurrently, the lack of consideration in the media behind the scenes compared to on screen is also clearly portrayed by the manipulation of truth and behavior. This is clearly evident in the episode, the Siege. In this episode, the media pretends to care about society and ethics. However, behind the scenes, they care for no one. At the beginning when the siege is initially reported, Frontline shows no sympathy whatsoever and instead aims to, ???try and get the whole half hour on this one.??? When the gunman is being interviewed, no one really talks about the kids. Ironically, Mike, a host of the show, is the one to breach the topic of the kids which Brian turns out to think is excellent and a ???clever??™ angle that will help them achieve a larger number of views and, thus, a higher rating. To worsen the situation, Frontline tells the gunman to take the phone off the hook, therefore making it impossible for the police to contact him and save the children. Marty and his cameraman do not see a problem in getting close to the gunman and, therefore, only manage to make the situation worse. This only further demonstrates that Frontline is driven by selfish motives and a goal is to remove the competition that exists in the form of other stations.

This is similarly represented in the episode, We Ain??™t Got Dames. The Frontline crew steals stories of women??™s magazines to gain higher ratings, in a manner that is rather unethical. The visual of Mike picking up a teddy bear in the promotion is used to highlight the falsity of their ???so called acceptable??™ morals. The use of exaggeration and satire emphasizes Mike??™s true personality. While the main goal of the promo is to show us a family man who cares and is well informed, in reality he is neither caring nor knowledgeable.

It is clearly evident in FRONTLINE that the truth of the story is definitely second to drama. Drama is only created to manipulate the truth that is presented to the audience and thus create an entertaining environment rather than a serious and truthful one. This is demonstrated in ???Playing the ego card??™ where Brian makes it clear that it is not the honest story that matters but the manner in which it is manipulated to appeal to the audience. He insists on ???vision, vision, vision??? clearly showing the truth motive of FRONTLINE. Mike tries to create drama and not report news and also tries to manipulate the background to his story by searching for a dramatic scene to follow up with Brian??™s demands, ???just give me some vision, OK vision??¦ I want to see soldiers with guns.

Similarly in The Siege, Marty misrepresents the danger of the situation with the gunman by crouching down and making the environment look dangerous when he is in fact kilometres away from danger. The inclusion of the war imagery ???keep safe??¦ live from the front line??? by Mike helps to elevate the dramatic tension. Once FRONTLINE has the gunman on air, they do not really care about the truthful story; they only care about increasing the drama in order to captivate their audience. As a result of this, Moore cuts the interview between himself and the gunman short when the gunman ironically comments that, ???they won??™t listen.??? Language is a great technique that is used to manipulate the truth presented and heighten drama, such as ???cache of weapons.???

My view of events, personalities and situations has been shaped by the representation of truth. It is clearly evident that the truth is manipulated in many different ways to represent a more ideal or pleasing vision, as is demonstrated in the Current Affair Program, Frontline.