For my final CA as part of the Media, Discourse & Analysis module in college, I was required to work in a group with my fellow students Siobhan Gallagher and James Butterly, to work on a fictional news report/ broadcast based on a current topic in contemporary Ireland - which would display an assortment of the theories and topics covered in the module over the course of this semester. By doing this, we would present what we have learned from the module and put it into practice in a professional piece of media.
For the news report, we decided to cover the topic of the current water charges issue in Ireland – presenting a biased news report in favor of the charge, and implementing ‘scare tactics’ and specific imagery and language to intimidate viewers into complying with the proposed charge. We also wanted to include doctored vox pops (or talking head interviews) where we would speak to those in favor of the charge, and omit those who are not.
Using a voice over (Our voice actor had to back out of the initial recording so I did the voice over), we implemented specific language and ‘buzz-words’ to put forward an ‘preferred meaning’ to the viewer, where we wanted them to comply with the charge and fear the possible consequences. See their peers and equals on screen, happily filling out registration forms, paying the charge and vocally approving the charge – we would subtly imply that everyone else is paying the charge – so the viewer should too. Shot angles were also carefully used in vox pops, where the camera ‘looks up’ to these ‘upstanding members of Irish society’ – making the viewer feel almost beneath them.
Informational statistics and figures were also used to get across to the viewer, the scale of those registering and paying the charge – while specifically omitting opposing figures which would show those who are opposing the charge. In addition, we also intentionally omitted footage covering opposition to the charge such as recent protests, as this would be in opposition to out ‘preferred meaning’ and lead the viewer to think otherwise.
To point out, many shots used in this pice were shot on location in DKiT (Such as vox pops and images of the campus). However, under fair use, we also used shots taken from Irish news broadcasts related to this report – mainly gathered from a number of broadcast videos provided on rte.ie. We do not claim to own these shots, but all footage was edited by ourselves. These additional shots complemented the report as a means of conveying the language of the report in a visual manner and suggesting the ‘preferred meaning’ to the viewer through instantly recognisable imagery (flowing water, happy faces, homes, known politicians). These worked in conjunction with the voiceover to get the report across to the viewer.
Anyway, we put a good bit of work into it and are pretty happy with the end result. So heres the final video.
For more info on the video such as early research and sources for video clips and statistics used, check out the production blog at http://begrandlike.wordpress.com/
Slán go fóill, agus beidh sé mhór, cosúil le! :)