After nine days of largely peaceful protests, the situation in Egypt has changed dramatically. More than 600 people have been injured, and one person killed, as pro and anti Mubarak groups fight with stones, sticks, and even concrete slabs. Egyptian State TV has broadcast an order for everyone to leave the square. And the country’s new Vice President has said the violence must end before dialogue can start.
5 Key questions that we need to closely examine and keep in mind if we are to successfully decode the reality being mediated:
1. Who created the message?
– The message was created by Sky News
2. What creative techniques are used to attract my attention (as receiver)?
– It focuses mostly on the anti-Mubarak groups. Making the story more one-sided.
– The camera focuses on the events that the reporter is speaking about. When the reporter says “The riders kicked and beaten” the camera focuses on a recently knocked over horse and rider who gets attacked by the crowd.
– The language and delivery by the reporter puts the events into a certain category, which is to influence the viewer and to generate news.
– The close up of a man getting attacked by a group of men, allows for the viewer to feel like they are witnessing this and provokes a greater sense of emotion from the viewer.
3. How might different people understand this message differently than me?
– Other viewers might just see this as another current event and take no notice.
– They might be more interested in this and feel that the coverage they are receiving is inaccurate.
4. What values, lifestyles & points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?
– This video clip pushes the ideologies of the Muslim community trying to support and oppose the Mubarak regime.
– It focuses mostly on the anti-Mubarak groups.
5. Why is this message being sent?
– This message is being sent as it is a current taking place and to inform the general public of the events.
– It is a news item which is felt to be important (news worthy).
The presence of conversationalisation
When looking at a media text what is not apparent from a transcript but is extremely important regarding the delivery is accent & delivery.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in a riot before”
This makes it out to be so horrible and shocking that the reporter hasn’t witnessed anything like this before but in fact it is pretty standard events for a riot. People in mayhem, attacking each other and a mass crowd coming together filled with anger and hatred. The term riot is in fact defined as:
• A disturbance made by an unruly mob or (in law) three or more persons; tumult or uproar.
• A wild or turbulent disturbance created by a large number of people.
• A noisy, violent public disorder caused by a group or crowds of persons, as by a crowd protesting against another group, a government policy, etc… in the streets.
• Violent or wild disorder or confusion.
For the reporter to say something like this is added purely for affect rather than to inform.
“Horses crash to the ground”
This is a very onomatopoeic style of presentation, i.e. it imitates or suggests the source of the sound that it describes. This again is done for affect but it also adds to the presentation of the media as a whole.
Preferred meaning and the reality being mediated
The piece itself in terms of the reality being mediated is what appears to be a report from within the riot with the reporter being among the protesters on the ground. It is meant to show us from a global standpoint the situation that is happening in Egypt. But with this is also the idea that what we are seeing is re-presented to us by the media. We are lead to believe only what we are shown, which for the most part is fine because we believe trusted sources. But what if this re-presentation of the events is made out to be more than what is happening or we are having the information filtered and it’s much worse. Only by researching further into it will we be able to get the truth.
During the clip, there are points where the camera ‘catches’ images of men being brought back with blood on them. This was preceded by images of men ducking from potential projectile missiles being thrown in their direction.
Overall this clip seems to be edited clearly to invoke emotion from the viewer and is done very well as there are many points where the language, images and sounds all come together to create an effect which leads the viewer in a particular way. Being in a country where they speak a different language, there would be no reason to add in interviews/eye witness accounts as the dubbing or subtitling would take away from the affect. Event he parts where the reporter says “here they come” and it cuts to images of the crowds, as he puts it, “surging” towards each other.