“Reporting as processing of existing discourse”…??

June 28, 2006

On the one hand, this seems Orwellian to me, though reflected in contemporary contexts where it seems the internet is consulted as the omniscient source.  [Not Orwellian in the sense of Wigan Pier – in the sense of 1984].  The dirth of eyewitness and personal accounts of things, the distance of news discourse from events themselves, the filtering of levels of government, “media events.”   Quoting from Hartley, a short history of cultural studies, quoted in Bruns:

“Hartley describes this [gatewatching]filtering guiding work as ‘redaction,’ the social function of editing,’: it means “bringing materials together, mixing ingredients to make something new- a creative process in its own right.”  Where redactional practices are used, he writes, “reporting is the processing of existing discourse.  But redactional journalism is not dedicated to the same ends as public-sphere journalism inherited from previous media; it doesn’t have the same agenda-setting function for public affairs and decision making as does traditional editing by editors (which is why I am avoiding the more familiar term.'”

On the other hand – something about this explication of reporting is linked to earlier notions of memory, rhetoric, reading [legere, gathering].  Picking, gathering what is known to be in existence: the world of ideas is already contained, finite:  a finite number of representations or parts of the real that the person re-arranges.  St. Paul, etc: One’s prowess as rhetor in the particularlity of the arrangement, not in the originality.

But google isn’t all the elements of the universe – it only seems that way.  If we believe it to be so – how is this kind of technology shaping our view of possibilities, horizons [lonergan notion – “the field is the universe, but my horizon defines my universe”].

The place of the modern scientific notions of objectivity in this?

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