Sunday, December 18, 2005

reports

In an effort to understand how reporting about "world affairs" on CNN (for example) differs from reporting on BBC (for example) I came to the conclusion that CNN creates a first person perspective that includes the reader, the U.S. government, the U.S. President, and the U.S. without attempting to differentiate. This entity is always acting, never reacting. It always acts alone and often in a context-free world. The acts are exclusively described with active, dominant verbs (killing, asking for, deciding, etc.). One day I'll sit down and quantify it, until then here are two examples from June last year:

on June 9 5:20pm
CNN: Bush urges stronger NATO role in Iraq
BBC: Chriac snubs Bush's NATO request

on June 26 1:35pm
CNN: Bush asks EU to support Iraq
BBC: US and EU pledge support to Iraq

1 comment:

Brendan said...

It reminds me of lit theory that talks about the difference between metaphor and metonomy(sp?).

While metaphor substitutes one thing for another, metonomy is the part speaking for the whole, i.e. "The White House declares torture is just fine."

The White House speaks for the US govt, its people, anything and everything really. In that formulation metonomy collectivizes and dehumanizes, it makes us into this monolithic beast