How the Media Constructs Reality
Chapter 7: Towards a Theory of Mediated Authenticity
· 7 · towards a theory of mediated authenticity I am half living my life between reality and fantasy at all times. —Lady Gaga This book investigates mediated authenticity and how the media construct real- ity. The media in this context should be understood as mediated communica- tion, which, by definition, requires some measure of adjustment, refinement, and even manipulation to adequately communicate a message. Mediated communication is a process practiced by media professionals, such as movie producers and news editors, as well as amateurs, such as bloggers and social media users. These groups of media producers have in common their use of specific techniques designed to make them come across as authentic, and thus also trustworthy, believable, and appealing. Mediated authenticity is a term that signals a certain pragmatism towards the media’s construction of reality, as well as an awareness of the pre-planned, formatted, and manipulated aspects of mediated communication. As a term, it is neither relativist nor value free, but it does highlight the paradox whereby a negotiation between producers and audiences is crucial to the success of the communication. A key premise of this book is that mediated communication is our primary source of knowledge about the world and a common point of our navigation within it. Access to relevant, adequate, and trustworthy media 132 mediated authenticity and communication is therefore essential to our quality of life, and it can even be a resource for ensuring the welfare of the citizens (Syvertsen et al., 2014). Thus the degree of...
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