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March 1993


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"Michael K. Kuentz" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 28 Feb 1993 17:35:15 EST
text/plain (36 lines)
In response to Mark Poindexter's point of view:
  I don't believe that we as journalists or documentarians need to persuade
anyone into believing anything.
  That isn't the job as I see it.
  We are simply here to educate and inform. We do our jobs and duties of re-
porting daily events to the mass public solely to inform. We provide
entertainment, companionship, and information. It is not our role to persuade
anyone. In SILENT SCREAM, a film which has been discussed in detail between
myself, Dr. Poindexter, and others, we can see clear evidence of a document-
arian triing to persuade the audience to think in one direction towards a
subject. In this sense, the documentary is meant to persuade; in all others
we have no right to attempt to do so.
  When I produce or assist in producing a news package, I tend to look at
it from a documentarian style. I want to document all that has occurred
leading up to, during, including, and following the event. Then I want to
post produce it (edit if you will) in a manner that tells a story and
provides the viewer with the sense of what has transpired and give them
a feeling of empirical knowledge, if you will, should they have been there
to witness the event themselves. In no way am I attempting to persuade
a viewer or group of viewers that they too should attempt suicide, kill another
human being, rob a bank, set their house on fire, or win the lottery. That
type of news belongs to the evangelist programs and Hard Copy.
  As for standing out front of the White House in a white out or blustery
gail, I believe this is solely for aesthetics. It gives the audience a feeling
of immediacy. A political story would not hold up so well if the reporter
were to do a stand up infront of, say, Arlington Cemetary, the Holland Tunnel,
or the reflection pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Sure, it would be
a change of scenery... but would it lend itself to any interest in the
story. If a reporter does a story about a burning house he can either
stand a distance away from the house or infront of the fire department that
dispatched the fire engines. Which would provide more meaning to the story?
paradoxically yours; michael k.