John O' Dreams

Most Valued Member
'Touchy topics' in the media
Interesting article by Robert Fisk about the media's use of language.

"But then who wants to talk about anything serious these days? I note an Associated Press dispatch from Jerusalem this week telling us that the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, recently talked to American Jewish leaders about what the reporter Josef Federman called "touchy topics". Whoops! Touchy topics? Well, here goes. Abbas, according to the AP, spoke about "Mideast peace talks, anti-Israeli incitement in the Palestinian media, violence and terrorism and the Holocaust". What on earth is "touchy" about the Jewish Holocaust? Or about "violence"? Or "incitement"? Or "terrorism"?
What all these words – issues, challenges, delivery, success, quality, achievers, touchy topics – have in common is the essential lie: that everything is for the good; that problems, disasters, third-rate work or bloodbaths simply don't exist, or are at best to be regarded as "touchy topics", something we don't need to hear about or for which we should be forewarned.
"

Full article here
 

mollag

Kipper restorer
'Touchy topics' in the media
These "TABOO" topics have a reason for being, someone benefits in the end. Govts and the press go along with and encourage topic censorship.
Problem is that we are now punishing "not with the program" opinions, as seen with "holocaust denial ".
To say or think that the death camps were fiction is to me a stupid opinion, but hey, each to their own.
We used to pride ourselves for our liberal tolerance of different opinions, " i disagree with your opinion but i will fight for your right to hold it", remember speakers corner?
Now counties within the EU jail people for holocaust denial, jailing people for holding a stupid opinion---where will that end?

George Orwell predicted it in "1984"---Thought Crime :hmm:

Next, the burning of books
 

John O' Dreams

Most Valued Member
'Touchy topics' in the media
I find it disturbing that the ones mostly criticised over this are those attempting to challenge the practice.

And I don't mean criticised by the perpetrators in the media, I mean criticised by the very people who the media are exploiting – the public.
 

Saoirse

Moderator
'Touchy topics' in the media
Mollag I understand what you are saying re it being stupid to say there were no deathcamps etc. But the problem is the gallery that some of the twisted, especially far right wing groups are preaching to, are often not the most aware, indeed naive and are easily exploited.

In a more subtle way this sort of expoitation happens everyday in the mainstream media as there are large swathes of the more naive public who swallow all the nonsense re asylum seekers etc etc.
 

mrkeith

Member
'Touchy topics' in the media
explotation by media forms has existed for thousands of years the romans and Greeks did it Jesus did it Hitler did it.
The problem now is the ammount of openings there is for global explotation. So often we see snippets of film interviews, or statements that are twisted out on context and made to mean exactly what the origional person was trying not to say. It's nowonder that reporters are scared to say certain things about certain things, you support the palastinians and your a "jihadist" you sypathise with Isreal your a "zionist" so people sit on the fence or avoid subjects.
 

mollag

Kipper restorer
'Touchy topics' in the media
Mollag I understand what you are saying re it being stupid to say there were no deathcamps etc. But the problem is the gallery that some of the twisted, especially far right wing groups are preaching to, are often not the most aware, indeed naive and are easily exploited.

In a more subtle way this sort of expoitation happens everyday in the mainstream media as there are large swathes of the more naive public who swallow all the nonsense re asylum seekers etc etc.

Cant disagree but as we know, when you authorise people to censor and edit public access to facts, they will abuse the power to negative ends.

Education is needed not permission to hold an opinion, you cannot punish people for exploitation cos you will have to close down all religions.

I often think back to "The life of Brian"--- he said the "word" stone him to death:loco:
 

Saoirse

Moderator
'Touchy topics' in the media
I personally would have no problem with closing down religions!

But I do accept its a very fine line (and exploited line) between freedom of expression and abusing such freedoms-BNP types and their kith and kin here staging provocative marches etc with no purpose other than rabble rousing brings about serious judgements of freedom versus responsibility and the abuse of freedoms
 

giglets

Member
'Touchy topics' in the media
The most blatant users of the "Taboo Subject" in my lifetime, was, without a doubt New Labour.
For most of the first and second terms of their Government, the list of things which could barely be mentioned, let alone discussed, was extensive - the most noteworthy being Immigration.
Their attempts to not only control what was said and written around these topics was bad enough, but they even tried to influence our very thoughts on these matters, implying that, if we did not agree with their standpoint, we must either be idiots or worse.
That attitude still maintained, right up to the last election, when Brown let his mask slip with his arrogant and totally stupid remarks about Gillian Duffy in Manchester.
In my experience, the most doctrinaire and illiberal members of our society, are the so-called "left wing liberals" who have a very low tolerance of those disagreeing with them and will not shift from their entrenched positions on most issues.



Dave
 
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'Touchy topics' in the media
I had to read the article twice to try and understand just what the author was getting at. Which, funnily enough, seems to be a plea for the use of clearer, more direct English.

When saying anything, whether in writing or in speach (or even in mime I suppose), you have to bear in mind who your audience is. To pluck words like 'megadata' and 'exilic' out of context may be unfair to the people who may be pitching them to a specific. When I was an engineer I would describe a situation on the shop floor to a meeting of my bosses using different vocabuary to the way I would describe it in the pub later.

Having said that using words that your audience is unfamilliar with, or that do not actually say anything meaningful, is a problem that has been around for an awful long time and isn't just a modern thing.

His secondary point - that people don't want to talk about 'touchy' issues - is part of the dumbing down of our media. And there we only have ourselves to blame. If we buy The Sun amd The Mail in such great numbers and turn off what quality television there is in favour of Total Wipeout and Deal Or No Deal then we deserve a media that treats us like children.
 

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