NPR's On The Media

NPR Week 6

After hearing about Jafar Panahi being dealt a 6 year jail sentence and a twenty-year film making ban I am certainly glad to be living where I live knowing something like this could never happen to an American. At least if it involved propaganda. I wasn’t aware that there were ways to “make a movie illegally” unless they were copying a movies ideas. The fact that we all make such a big deal about “chick flicks” makes it seem almost crazy that American women become so obsessed in a romantic comedy when Iranians aren’t even allowed to make movies like that. It makes me think, what do they watch? Panahi keeping his wife, mother and daughter out of the film to stage a protest towards the maltreatment of women I find extremely risk-taking against their regime. To me, I sort of see him as a hero, or martyr. He was pressing buttons that obviously would affect people in the government. The fact that Panahi having such a loyal following of people makes one think about how impressive and quickly word travels. Iranian governments are afraid to jail Panahi because of the outcry it would cause. I find that astonishing, it is truly amazing that even in a country so strick like Iran, word travels as fast as it would in America.

 

While listening to the section of “Silencing the Messenger,” I came to realize how things have truly changed. It was interesting how the NPR woman made it understood that “Journalists in Peril” stories are no different than a soldier dying. The journalist chooses to be there and chooses to cover that story. However, these particular journalists were there to cover the Syrian uprising, people who did not choose to die, they were simply in harms way just like Mary Colvin herself.

 

In “The Lifespan of a Fact,” Jim Fingle, insinuates that manipulating the facts to create a literary effect isn’t wrong for some people, but for him it is ethically and morally wrong. Being an essayist and a journalist aren’t the same, essayists can lie and alter the quotes and facts to create a little more emphasis and basically for lack of a better word “pzaz,” but journalists must fully have their stories well thought out and checked.

The fact checker, Jim Fingle’s job is to call out John Degata for “streamlining” a quote and making it a “no rules,” and “pretty,” story. According to Degata he had wrote his entire essay based off the number 9 and the fact that it took Levi Presley around 9 seconds to fall off the tower. The knowledge and background facts of the actual number 9 in many cultures was used in Degata’s essay (such as “cloud 9, the whole 9 yards etc..). The fact that it turned out that it was an 8 second fall would have required Degate to change his story. However, the point that Degata didn’t want to change his story because it would mess up the structure is a little silly. It’s ethically wrong to lie especially about a story that can tug at many people hearts. When someone commits suicide it is obviously a terrible traumatic experience to their families and I’m sure the last thing they want to hear is a lie. To me, suicide itself is a heart-wrenching topic you don’t need to spice it up, its spiced on its own. However it’s like Fingle said, “It’s not like you are defiling his grave by propagating these inaccuracies but its kind of like your being dishonest about where that grave is.”

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