Frontline Essay

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Foucalt said that ‘Truth is produced only by virtue of multiple forms of constraint'. Indeed, he is right. In the 21st century society we live in, truth is a social construct, shaped by a certain few who have the power to deem what is accepted as truth. Arguably ulterior motives, personal agendas, corporate and political interests affect the representation of the truth. ‘Frontline', ‘US Media Blues' and ‘Media Watch' attempt to give insight on how media corporations represent the truth. Collectively, these three texts are an invitation for responders to question the authority and work ethics of those who control the telling of the truth, and think critically of how the truth can be distorted or misrepresented.

Arguably, the representations of truth by the media are influenced by ulterior motives. Frontline satirize such motives of media networks by purposely misrepresenting a current affairs program so to invite scrutiny upon the representations of truth. The opening sequence of each episode uses a combination of fast paced music and off screen shots so to give Frontline all the appearances of a real current affairs program. However it is when we see Mike Moore, a ridiculously exaggerated representation of Ray Martin, that we realize that Frontline is satirizing the works of the media. For example, the episode ‘Add sex and stir', uses characterization and dialogue to invite scrutiny upon the importance of ratings for media corporations. Evidence of this is found through the characterization of Brian, an executive producer who lacks morals or decency. Through Brian's crude dialogue, ‘sport rates, sex rates, put the two together and you've got dynamite', Frontline invites responders to reflect upon the morals that journalists should hold. According to the AJA code of ethics, journalists should ‘not place unnecessary emphasis on personal characteristics such as sex or gender'. However, it is blatant that Brian does not embed these values and hence this...
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