I have followed this discussion for quite awhile and I can't recall if
anyone has come out and said outright that journalism is a kind of
performance whose relationship with reality is not that much different from
that of films. Both are species of representation that depend on the
gullibility of their audiences. The difference between the two may be that
fiction films don't pretend to represent the literal truth. Their
"credibility" is based on aesthetics, not ideology (though they trade in
Films have had a long history of exploring the problem of the "news" in a
critical way. "Citizen Kane" comes to mind, but also Antonioni's "The
Passenger." The Nicholson character abandons his identity as a journalist,
I think, because the news itself loses all "credibility" (something we learn
through the flashbacks). The film's historical connections to the Vietnam
era and semiotics (Peter Wollen worked on the script) are clear enough but
it remains an amazing film.
>Those journalists working in television who are focussed on being =
>journalists and not performers would not "sell out" unless they were =
>willing to give up their "credibility". The stock and trade of a =
>"serious" journalist is their credibility. The stock and trade of a =
>news personality is their "appeal". Contracts with newsmedia stars =
>have come to include clauses on appearances in fictional roles and =
>the sharing of revenue from those appearances with the organization =
>they are affiliated with. >Dave Trautman
Is it too obvious to suggest that "credibility" is another market commodity
whose use-value translates into a form of "appeal" which can then be
marketed? And with each subsequent exhange the value of the image of say
"Bernard Shaw" increases? And that ultimately the image of "credibility"
replaces its reality? Is that Baudrillard I can smell coming?
Grad Student in Film and Cultural Studies
Simon Fraser University
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama.