Text- RM Daily
project by Emily and Sarah
Firstly I would like to explore our concept and how we wanted to represent text as a whole. Obviously text can be extremely broad- a text can be any symbol on a page that we as an audience interpret. But why are texts constructed in the first place? Emily and I discovered that texts were constructed for an aptitude of reasons but the most prominent was to influence. Influence we thought could be broken up into a couple of categories, one being to educate in a positive way, another was advertising products and a third was propaganda for a certain way of thinking. We chose to explore the idea of propaganda in a way that was similar to the Hypodermic Needle theory founded in the 1930’s in The Frankfurt School. This suggested that the media had a direct affect on the audiences thinking, attitude and behaviour; the consumer is therefore completely passive and helpless to disagree or question the consumer’s message. We found a link between this and how text is used for Propaganda. From there we decided to take this idea and use it to explore Text as a newspaper and the influence it can have over our thinking.
We expressed these ideas through an actual online newspaper that we created called the RM Daily (Rupert Murdoch Daily). We branched off Murdoch as the stump for our ideas since he is the mediator or gateway of the information the general public can access through News Corp. When the newspaper first comes up the audience is bombarded by subliminal messages built in or incorporated into ‘everyday news stories’ since some of our overall message are ‘are you reading between the lines?’ and ‘what are you really reading?’ we thought it would be cool to put double meanings up against these news stories. Some examples from the text are ‘community snowed-in’ which shows a pictured of a snowed in community but is really playing off the idea of Edward Snowden who is an American computer professional who leaked classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) to the mainstream media, starting in June 2013. Another example was Murder-Dock explaining how there was a murder out side dock St. really this is playing on the notion of Murdoch.
We then explored this idea of Propaganda Pete, which was a take of a character called Pete Campbell, an advertising guy for an advert company in Mad Men. That idea was sort of more of an inside joke than anything but propaganda Pete became a hacker in our news story and hacked his way into our newspaper himself. We like this idea because it almost brought the words of our virtual paper to life and happening in the moment. This was represented through a propaganda video, which was constructed using a range of sound effects, and manipulated found footage from Archive.org. This hacker video starts off with a TV static sound effect and the Text message sound effect. The text message was just playing off the idea of ‘text’ as our overall topic. It then plays eerie old fashioned styled paperboy call footage which I added suspense music and echoing effects to. I layered the footage with newspapering ruffling effects as well as type writing effects. The rest of the propaganda video is a montage of news anchors cut, edited and manipulated to explore the main ideas and incentives of filtering text. So for example one of the key ideas is money, Emily and I thought money was a huge incentive for newspaper companies to print papers and they print what they think will sell. The next idea I explored with the propaganda video was how controlled these anchors are within the media. So they may present to us the news but they are told what to say and when to say it and given an exact script. This ties into the idea that there is always someone who filters and has more control over what we read and how we think. The videos then ends with what are we reading? And do we believe everything we do? It is a dark video and outlook over text but we thought it to be extremely effective as by the end of the video we have influence our audience to believe a certain point of view as well. This shows that in the small space of 3 and half minutes or even in the video alone with goes for about 1 and a bit, we have altered the way our audience thinks. To top off the creepiness we put a photo of Murdoch at the end layered with an extremely eerie evil laugh and a blood smear across his eyes. Since Murdoch has a lot of control over the media he controls a lot of what he wants and doesn’t want people to see, which can include himself. Overall I really enjoyed doing this project with Em she was a fantastic partner to work with and we work really well together.