On Monday, I talked about how the Shirley Sherrod story pointed up why "context" is important in evaluating the media information we all are constantly exposed to.
Every day on non-news and "reality-style"
entertainment TV shows, I see all kinds of "creative" editing that
distorts the material and blurs our perception of the "context"of what the heck is going on. Video and sound bites are moved around to promote the show,
to tease a segment, to present a provocative or curiosity-provoking tidbit to get people to watch and to keep viewers watching through the
When the actual full
segment airs, you realize the person wasn't reacting to what the promo showed
at all, or didn't really mean what you thought they said just a few minutes
Next time you're shocked, amused, or outraged by a bit of
video or a sound bite, think about what the the real "context" might
or who is the source of this clip?
is their agenda?
was said or done before or after this clip?
Staying aware that all editing takes something "out of
context" will help you exercise some healthy skepticism about what you
see and hear and probably keep you from jumping to conclusions.
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