(un)common ground

a commonplace book

Simple to Cover

[TV news sees the world] as a series of apparently absurd stories that all end up looking the same, endless parades of poverty-stricken countries, sequences of events that, having appeared with no explanation, will disappear with no solution. … It’s almost a journalistic ritual, and certainly a tradition, to focus on simple events that are simple to cover.

Pierre Bourdieu, On Television (1998)

One could say that more and more this pattern is inverting, with sequences of events appearing with too much explanation and disappearing with plenty of insinuation as to solution(?) In effect, journalism not only focuses on so-called simple events, but also simplifies complex events in order to focus on them.

Compare https://medium.com/thoughts-on-media/after-the-paris-killings-live-news-should-challenge-narratives-not-desperately-try-to-create-them-645a691ae68a

However, particularly in terms of television news, I appreciate Bourdieu’s general characterization. There are counterexamples and more nuanced cases elsewhere in the lectures.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on November 18, 2015 by and tagged , , .
%d bloggers like this: