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Compassion and Media Representations of Suffering
Journalism & Communication
Pages 7 (1757 words)
Compassion and Media Representations of Suffering Photography and video have inherent power because it offers something concrete. When it offers constructs of death, pain, injustice and suffering, it has the ability to present evidence to make their claims real and tangible.
Compassion Cultivation The decision on how these images are going to be used and how a story is going to be told are left to the decision of the journalists and the editors. These decisions are influenced by different factors which include cultural standards of the primary audience and the expectations of advertisers. The end product is almost always geared towards what will be warranted as interesting by more people in order to attract more advertisers. Media produce materials that evoke compassion because compassion is what calls audience attention. Media positions the audience from a spectator’s point of view, a passive audience that is powerless when it comes to the doing something against the sufferings of victims of natural disasters and manmade crimes. To establish a more intimate relationship between the news content and the audience, media use personal stories that are highly focused on the civilians. Their losses are highlighted, their tears take the places of actual body count and political analysis. By putting feeding the audience the suffering of people who are supposed to be innocence and the fact that audience are unable to do anything to mediate the suffering, the media creates distant suffering. The audience are being conditioned to take into consideration the condition of strangers thousands of miles away. ...
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