The people affected can be seen as the victims. After talking to the victims, the story may cross over to whoever is to blame. After talking, or attempting to talk, to these people, the voice-over or presenter will conclude their part of the story, possibly discussing what is in the future for the victims. By moving the camera in different ways, different effects can be achieved. For example, a close up of a person shows emotion, a shot taken from above a person can make the person look unimportant, unimpressive, afraid or small; while a view of someone from below can make them see tall, powerful or important.
This was used to show the viewers how the victims were on the verge of crying, raw emotions projected to television screens across Australia. The first clue that the story had been carefully planned to make the audience see the story differently in the Lost Children segment was a subtle one. The presenter was an older male. This suggests authority, which was supported by his deep voice and broad shoulders. In media, female presenters tend to report on issues that are more emotional, so that more concern can be felt. With a male presenter, the aim is more on the wrong that has been done and is told fact by fact.
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The presenter was well groomed, well educated and articulate. The suit and tie gave the audience a sense that he could be trusted, which may not have been as obvious had he been wearing a T-shirt and mumbling.
He was also expressive, but was not emotional. This made the presenter convincing, again reinforcing that he could be trusted.
When introducing the story, the presenter sounded well-informed and confident, making him sound honest. The voice-over in stories reports what is happening, without having to focus on a person. This creates the opportunity to show clips of what is happening while listening to an explanation. The voice-over heard during the Lost Children story again spoken by a man.
With a concerned voice, he described the entire ordeal of the children. He also spoke with large pauses, usually after something emotionally difficult to listen to had been said. These pauses are used to let strong feelings sink in. Emotive language is the substitution of a word by a different word that has either a negative or positive connotation. This can change something that was completely factual into something that has a very strong bias. This can sometimes be achieved by exaggerating something slightly, but not to the extent that it changes the total meaning.
An example of this in the Lost Children segment is found in nearly every sentence. It conjures up images of slave labour in desert like conditions. The fact is that although the sentence said nothing about slaves or deserts, that is what we think of. This can be used throughout an entire show, and is not considered lying. It can be, however, very misleading. Another aspect of television current affairs programs misleading their viewers is how they select the content that they screen. This can be something from letting one person talk for a couple more minutes than another, to not letting the other person talk at all.
In the Lost Children segment, the victims of child molestation and labour were given approximately ten minutes each to talk to their ordeal, even more for others. However, when talking to the Christian Brothers and Philip Ruddock, only five minutes were allocated. Even then, the reporter continued to interrupt them. The actual people accused were not even interviewed. One of the victims, Mary Malloy, received approximately twenty minutes, more air time than anyone else.
As a child, Mary Malloy was told that her parent had died and that she was an orphan. This was told to all of the children in the care of the Christian Brothers. During the show, she is not only told that her mother is alive, but also gets to meet her. This all happens as the camera is running. However, the only actual point of showing this to an audience is to provoke emotions, which it did very well.
There is no need or relevance to show the reunion of the two. The segment was supposed to be about the mistreating of children in the care of the Christian Brothers. People will continue to watch current affairs programs such as Sixty Minutes and Today Tonight. They will even continue to take what they see as the truth, even though we know that producers of show like the ones mentioned do use techniques like using emotive language, camera tricks and bias selection of content. The techniques they use are not necessarily lies, but they do provoke emotions that would not be evident if they were purely factual.
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