How are Distinctions Made Between Factual Reporting, Interpretation and Distortion ?
- Pages: 5
- Word count: 1089
- Category: Politics
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Society’s interpretation of factual reporting on newspapers, magazines, slogans, commercials, speeches and everyday-life conversations can be very different from the actual meaning. This is why interpretation is described to be the particular way in which something is understood or explained. Depending on the purpose of the given messages, the factual reporting can sometimes be distorted , so as to change the truth of the subject. Therefore, the meaning of distortion is a change of facts or ideas so they are no longer correct or true. Factual reporting can be objective, neutral or subjective. Nowadays, these three terms are put into practice very frequently in the different areas of knowledge, such as media, ethics, arts…
When the facts are not changed in any way and the outcome reflects the truth and real value of the story, then it is considered to be objective facts. The opposite of this it is subjective factual reporting that happens when the facts are changed in order to give a different idea so as to take people’s attention more easily. The neutral reporting, occurs when the evidence is not changed very much, but still transforms it slightly, so as to have a little change in the interpretation. An example of these can be found in newspapers. Usually, the subject of an article is expressed in ways that impress the reader and make him/her think about what has just been read in order to adopt a position regarding that topic. The editor of the newspaper is the responsible to check whether it is allowed to distort the facts are not. Generally, the decision depends upon the purpose of the article; whether it is written to simply inform people with the truth, or it is made to create and impact on the readers and provoke a controversial issue which can be interpreted in several ways.
An individual’s interpretation to any piece of information can be based on that’s individual’s personality. This is due to his/her imagination, ideology and the logic used to interpret the source. It is the individual who receives the information who decides whether the source is reliable or not, and whether he/she wants to believe what it is in it. Therefore, a piece of information can be interpreted in many ways, no matter if the factual reporting is objective, neutral or subjective. An example of this could be found in the area of arts. For instance, a painting or a piece of music can be interpreted by different people in different ways. It depends on the educational background of the characters and the way of looking at things. Perhaps, one person is able to perceive the message given in the painting, and the emotional state of the artist when the picture was painted, and the other person can reach different conclusions. A more concrete example could be found in the movement of impressionism in arts, which had the characteristic to express the interpretation of objects, situations or scenery which the painter had on the artistic work. This examples emphasises how each individual’s interpretation is different form one another.
Commercial distortion is very common in today’s society. The majority of the population of a country watches television or reads magazines in its leisure time. Through these sources of media, most of the products are advertised in such a way that they sell an idea in order to motivate people to buy the product. For instance, a television commercial of a mobile phone with a certain server, such as Amena*, sells the idea of freedom and commodity instead of selling the product itself. However, that tactic seems to be useful because there are many copies of the mobile phone that are sold, and also the server gains popularity and, therefore, it is used by more people. This commercial is manipulated a little bit in order for the viewers to think that Amena is a really good service which provides all the commodities individuals would like to have, therefore, its purpose is to help the viewers to have a different interpretation of the commercial.
Political distortion is mainly used by political parties to gain more votes, and also to put people against the rival political party. They do this by changing the actual facts slightly, so the receptors interpret it in the way the politicians are interested in. An example of this is the new issue that has raised in Spain about the educational system. The conservative party* announced on television and on the newspapers that Spain was one of the countries in Europe with more educational failure.
Something had to be done in order to improve the education, so they used the actual system to show how weak it was. This meant that the conservative party was only looking at one of the defects of the educational system in Spain, instead of comparing that defect with the good things about it. This is a way to make people believe that the educational system has to be changed immediately, and that the political party is doing the best for every student without taking in consideration that those changes could affect the so called “bad or problematic students”. This way to promote the political party is hiding some of the facts, therefore the politicians only discuss those things which, the audience will accept and will interpret them in such ways that the politicians are benefited. In this example, the factual reporting can be considered to be subjective.
These two ways of communicating current issues to the population of a country would be different if the actual facts would be shown and expressed correctly, so as to give real information of the issue and not let misunderstandings take place. This would have to be done by not allowing politicians or the media people use distortion of images, words, or important messages. However, this would not benefit the people making the distortions because the audience would interpret in such ways that could create a loss of sympathisers with the political part and future buyers of the announced product.
I believe that most of the messages which people receive are in some way distorted in order to transmit a different idea. This is done to benefit certain people, and to get the best results out of that distortion. The distortions are not always negative, they cam also be positive ( like sometimes in arts). However, these distortions can be interpreted in several ways causing misunderstandings and big arguments that lead to problems.