Manipulation Of the Truth by the Powerful

Essay by equinoxHigh School, 12th gradeA-, May 2003

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Our awareness and understanding of the world's occurrences is reliant upon the media, including television, radio, newspaper and the internet. This media is owned and organised by some of the world's most wealthy and powerful people. This means that our perception of the truth is governed by those who control the media. In this way, the world's access to the truth may be hindered by the powerful, should they chose to manipulate or distort the 'truth'. This facet of the media is exposed in a number of texts including Frontline, Wag The Dog, a 60 Minutes story entitled Moonstruck, and an article published at The Guardian. Each of these texts purport that our 'truths' are shaped by the powerful.

Frontline, a satire which parodies current affairs programs, divulges the acts of malpractice that occur within the media. A number of the episodes from the first series pay particular attention to the way that their presentations can be influenced by, and adjusted to suit these 'higher powers'.

One of the episodes which expose this is This Night of Nights. After the team become aware that Telecom has been bugging calls, they prepare an expose. However, as Telecom is a major sponsor, this story cannot go to air. The powerful exert their authority onto the team, forbidding them from playing the story. Satirical techniques are used to expose the hypocrisy of the industry. The hypocrisy is made obvious with Brian's comment "As the media we have the right to report what we learn, not sit back and decide what people should and shouldn't know" in relation to a story they are doing on a theft at a charity, which is contrasted by the lengths to which he is willing to go to suppress the story of Mike Moore's drink diving. Mike's...