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January 1995, Week 1


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 7 Jan 1995 10:14:04 CST
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (43 lines)
Came across the following in the (electronic distribution version of) "News
of the Weird":
>WEIRDNUZ.359 (News of the Weird, December 23, 1994)
>by Chuck Shepherd
>* In September, as a response to the Irish Republican Army's
>cease-fire in Northern Ireland, British Prime Minister John
>Major suspended a long-standing anti-IRA media policy.  Since
>1969, voices of IRA leaders have not been permitted on British
>and television--even on newscasts.  Thus, for nearly 25 years,
>the British Broadcasting Corporation has shown news films of IRA
>leaders but had had to hire actors to supply the voices. [St.
>Petersburg Times, 9-25-94]
>Copyright, 1994, Universal Press Syndicate.  All rights
>reserved. Released for the personal entertainment of readers.
>No commercial use may be made of the material, or of the name
>"News of the Weird."
It reminded me of the way in which U.S. broadcasters in the 1960s agreed to
a ban on the voice of Henry Kissinger while he was Secretary of State.  It
was presumed that his German accent would undermine national confidence in
him, I suppose.
These instances of sound/image discontinuity raise the issue of the
discursive impact of television sound as compared to that of its image.
That is, why is it "safe" to *show* IRA members, but not to *hear* them?
It reinforces the notion that TV is just radio with pictures, that the main
televisual impact is based in the sound, that television's images are just
there to augment the information that is predominantly carried by the
Can anyone contribute other instances of such sound/image discontinuity
being used to support an ideological agenda?
  Jeremy Butler                                  [log in to unmask]
  SCREEN-L Coordinator                         [log in to unmask]
  Telecommunication & Film Dept. * University of Alabama * Tuscaloosa