Posted by: lee E. | October 1, 2012

The Truth of the Matter

Throughout my reading of Part 1, I was continually reminded of the Radiolab’s “The Fact of the Matter” released the week prior. This episode focused on how a seemingly simple set of facts can actually point us to multiple understandings of The Truth.

It seems to me that according to Media and Society authors O’Shauhnessy and Stadler, there is no such thing as nonficton—There is only creative nonfiction.

Throughout Part 1 of their text, they make it clear that we can’t tell The Truth because (even if we were somehow capable), objective reality can’t be relayed through language. Cameras are depicted not as documentary devices, but as lenses that mislead us with two-dimensional representations that are the product of countless creative choices. And, last but not least, our very maps don’t tell us the truth because the European cartographer’s cartel benefit from the status-quo.

With all this in mind, if journalists are meant to be mediators between reality and its occupants, how are we to be seen as anything other than manipulative? How can any journalistic creation be anything other than “the truth as its creator sees it,” and thereby become unlikely to be heard by anyone who has a contrary opinion? Was it ever any different?

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