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 Post subject: The tyranny of the narrative
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:46 am 
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One the one hand, you get Air Vice Marshall Martin Routledge, still in post, speaking out against what in media terms could be described as a "critical shortage" of UAVs in Afghanistan. Outside the specialist journals, all it gets is a brief mention in <em>The Times</em> and a cut and paste job in The Guardian. Then, on the other hand, you get Brigadier Aldwin Wight, ex-SAS commander, retired from the Army in 1997, who has been "speaking with friends" and decides to "wade into the row over support for UK troops in Afghanistan", accusing the government of "spin" (shock!) and telling the world: "I do think, actually, the debate should be exposed - the additional troops, the numbers of helicopters."

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 Post subject: Re: The tyranny of the narrative
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:56 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:52 am
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Solutions, please.
How did this "narrative" get established ?
How does one derail it ?
How does one establish a more appropriate narrative ?


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 Post subject: Re: The tyranny of the narrative
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:06 am 
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HarryR wrote:
Solutions, please.
How did this "narrative" get established ?
How does one derail it ?
How does one establish a more appropriate narrative ?


If you go back to the heady days, when the blogosphere was emerging, the talk was very much about taking on the MSM and forcing through a different, grassroots agenda. I still believe that can happen, which is why I keep ploughing on in my own disconsolate way ... and why I am so critical of much of the blogosphere, which tends mostly to reinforce the narrative rather than go a different agenda. Basically, the internet is the only game in town, the only place where we can take on the media on equal terms. If that doesn't work, then I do not know what else to suggest.

As to how the narratives get established ... look in a newsroom - they are all watching television and reading all the other papers ... in the TV newsrooms, they do likewise ... like a ravening pack of sheep, charging off ... to do what everybody else does.

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 Post subject: Re: The tyranny of the narrative
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:46 am 
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The mass audience is like a small child who will always prefer emotional story telling to dry logical analysis.

How do we stop politicians pandering to those with an aversion to thinking but a great capacity for empathy and anger?

What if the politicians themselves are those people?

There's probably no fix-all solution. It is the way of the world and we should recognise it and move to Mars.

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 Post subject: Re: The tyranny of the narrative
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:52 am
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RAENORTH wrote:
... in the TV newsrooms, they do likewise ... like a ravening pack of sheep, charging off ...


Hah ! Love it.
OK, so to extend the metaphor, we need serious researchers such as yourself acting as sheep dogs to keep the silly buggers pointing in the right direction. (If you're feeling particularly grumpy, you can be a wolf, but not too often.)

So what mechanism could one imagine to give you the equivalent of nipping a sheep's heels ?


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