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July 1994


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Matt McAllister <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 8 Jul 1994 14:52:20 -0500
text/plain (32 lines)
>An other interesting aspect of TV coverage of the Simpson's case is
>television news's self-reflexivity about its own coverage.
>Self-reflexivity, of course, is not new in TV.  What is new, I think, is the
>Tv news anchor's reference to and analysis of their own coverage of the
>case WITHOUT implicating themselves as organizations or individuals
>involved in the coverage.  This is a disembodied form of self-reflexivity
>that tends to undermine the progressive politics of
>self-reflexivity.  Here is another example of cooptation and
>depoliticization of the so-called alternative disocurses.
>--Hamid Naficy
>Media Studies
>Rice University
>[log in to unmask]
I agree with this:  The stories that are "meta-media" are very telling.
I've seen about three stories in the media about the media coverage.  But
they ALL lay the blame for the frenzy on the public (that's a surprise).
One voxpop piece quoted a viewer as saying, "I know it's politically
correct to criticize the coverage, but I have been ABSORBED by it."  Thus,
high ratings are the OFFICIAL justification: "the public demands it".  Of
course with no discussion of how the media itself may be cultivating and
exploiting this interest.  In my media classes we talk about the one
absolutely consistent message of network television: "Watch me; Watch me;
watch me!"  Boy does this coverage show that, and then justify the message
with its own success.
Matt McAllister
Department of Communication Studies, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA  24060   e-mail: [log in to unmask]   phone: 231-9830