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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Shattered Glass

"Shattered glass" is the title of a movie, based on a true story. I just watched it and it's quite interesting actually. Several times it would come on, and I would usually flip the channel looking for something more interesting, but when I did watch it, it turned out quite intriguing. Movies based on true stories usually are.

It's basically about a journalist, who is exposed as having most of his pieces fabricated. How this was found out, and the aftermaths of it.

The point is… his fabricating of his stories was displayed as really a big thing. And come to think of it, it is. The news and papers are basically one of our major trusted sources of information. And if some of it is fiction, we would like to know about it. Remmebr the phrase: "it was on CNN, it must be true!" well that is not really applicable nowadays at all.

I don't know how thorough fact checking is here in Egypt, but I have my concerns. The official papers have very different versions from other opposing papers, ex. Al Ummah, al Fajr, al Naba2, etc etc. Some feel (me included), that these papers really spice up the stuff to sell more. But also others feel that some stuff can be told here, that would not be published in our regular official papers (Al Ahram, Al Akhbar etc). as a matter of fact, both opinions are quite true, and the search of the truth, is well, up to you. You believe what you think is more credible kind of thing. The media does not do as much as fabricate a whole story from A-Z, (maybe they do?), but they sure omit what they want and state what they want, thus making one story told in two different ways very very different.

Now when I see a news item on an Egyptian news channel, I check for the same piece of news in Jezeera, BBC and CNN respectively. Sometimes I get angry with one version or the other, but in the end I am not really sure which one to really buy into.

The business of truth finding has become quite skeptical. But it is good that we are not just exposed to one source of news, so it makes it more difficult to fabricate stuff and manipulate our minds. Oh well, we will see.


  • At 3/03/2006 1:36 AM, Blogger irina said…

    well, journalists are people too so I don't think they show reality, but what they understood of it... So we can't escape subjectivity. Now censure or intention of manipulation, I have this feeling that we'll never escape that...

  • At 3/05/2006 10:22 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    Irina is partially right: there is a lot of subjectiveness concerning news writing, but not all related the the journalist actually covering the topic. First of all you choose the topics out of hundreds of them, then the understanding of events comes in, then you attach a point of view, an angle to it and this all concerns the person actually writing the piece of news. Then there is a whole editorial policy to be applied to the piece of news, a lot of things changed or just taken out becuase of lack of space...News are very often a distorted image of reality, but the least distorted one there is, we hope.

    Speaking of Shattered Glass, I have seen the movie and I actully enjoyed it a lot.

  • At 3/07/2006 3:25 PM, Blogger Me said…

    I guess this business of truth finding is a problem everywhere...

    But I want to ask Alina something as she is related to journalism ... is there a difference between a "News Report" and an "Article"? ... I mean maybe in news reports the journalist isn't really meant to express his point of view as much as report the piece of news... whereas he/she expresses his opinion in an article ?

  • At 3/07/2006 8:14 PM, Blogger doshar said…

    yeah irina you are right, everything is subjective

    alina, thanx for the input. your jounalism lessons really help understand hoew it is done. i think it is a very interesting field of work being a reporter.

    me: hey ezayek ya bent! mashghoola zayyee? don't see you 3ala messenger 7atta!


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