Thursday, May 25, 2017

When News Isn't News

I sat last night and watch ZDF (Channel Two from the German public TV offerings) news.  At some point, they went and did a 7-minute piece on Trump.  About 30 seconds into could hear the 'evil' music in the background.  Some enchanting but demonic-like music.  They'd move the sound up and down as they shifted through the interviews.  Then at some point, they went to demon-music number two.

Why the use of music in the middle of a news piece?  Generally, at least to me, that's one of the ten signs of a fake news piece via TV.

Since the end of 2015, with these Trump pieces by German public TV, I can probably count at least 15 episodes where they added the 'evil' or 'demonic' music into the extended news piece.

Most of the time, these are 7-minute or more reports.  It's where they've got a couple of days to compile various clips or interviews into one report, and there's some music designer who sits with the film editor to weave the music into the right points and mess with the tone enough to make it all fit.

Thirty years wouldn't have been done. We have progressed enough with news that it's always got some artistic slant or 'curve' to it.  News is no longer designed to just be simple and pure news.  They have pushed it into the art-zone and need people to admire the slant to the story.

At some point of innovation, I expect some German guy to devise a box that you attach to your TV and it recognizes images and plays your own soundtrack.  For example, an image of a Mercedes comes it shifts to "Mercedes Benz" by Janis Joplin.  An image of Margaret Thatcher comes up, so it shifts to "She's a Lady" by Tom Jones.

The thing about this ZDF effort is that up until the early was just a simple nightly broadcast with some 60-year-old guy or gal reading text off his sheet and some marginal graphic display in the background (usually a map or a picture).  Today, it's like some minor Hollywood production piece with a soundtrack and fancy graphics. In some way, it's enhancing the news to the point where it's just not news's some hyped up objective of some type.

No comments: