Rituals of mediatised disasters…

This quote, from an essay by Stephen Knight in his book “The Selling of the Australian Mind” is spot on, IMHO.

The weight of news violence is an the incursion into allegedly normal life of sudden destructive threats. That function, as Propp would call it, is only marginally balanced by the recurrent anti-function in the same segment, namely that all news will carry also some moment of the healer: a dog is cared for, some whales are saved, best of all, a single sick child is not yet dead from some miserable disease.
A healing containment of this slender sort must follow news violence. The overarching narrative of the news requires that, often over several days. Every disaster story, after the first sequence of shocking footage, will, on the second day, concentrate on grieving relatives and, then, next day, there must be a brave rescuer with one or two people who have been saved (for fatal plane crashes, it’s finding that scientific revenant, the black box). The narration fits the disaster back into normalcy, overlaps and leaks into the next to-of-the-news disaster. As in our dreams, there is a rolling process of crisis and consolation.
Page 31


About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
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