Communicating Unreality: Modern Media and the Reconstruction by Gabriel Weimann

By Gabriel Weimann

Reviewing the photographs and meanings of the mass-mediated global, Gabriel Weimann examines the symbolic surroundings, the place truth and fiction are virtually inseparable. via dialogue of mass-mediated photos of individuals, cultures, struggle, love, intercourse, loss of life, neighborhood, and id, he demonstrates that there's frequently a wide hole among truth and the reconstruction of "realities" as communicated through the mass media.

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Additional resources for Communicating Unreality: Modern Media and the Reconstruction of Reality

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T h e y are constantly presenting objects suggesting w h a t individuals in the mass s h o u l d think about, k n o w about, have feelings a b o u t " (p. 2 0 2 ) . A n o t h e r early r e f e r e n c e t o this idea is a b r i e f passage in a b o o k by political scientist B e r n a r d C o h e n . In 1 9 6 3 , he w r o t e , " T h e press may n o t be successful m u c h o f the time in telling p e o p l e w h a t t o t h i n k , but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers w h a t t o t h i n k about" (p.

2 2 ) . It has b e e n w e l l - k n o w n for a long time that the press surveys the e n v i r o n m e n t , a n d the news media selectively present ideas t o the p u b l i c . THE R E C O N S T R U C T I O N 34 OF REALITY Presumably, the news media perform this surveillance function in a pattern that e n c o u r a g e s the public t o attach the m o s t i m p o r t a n c e t o w h a t the media give the most p r o m i n e n t attention. N o t e d c o m m u n i c a tion researchers M c C o m b s and S h a w ( 1 9 7 6 ) w r o t e , "Audiences n o t o n l y learn a b o u t public issues and o t h e r matters from the m e d i a , they also learn h o w m u c h importance t o attach to an issue o r t o p i c from the emphasis the m e d i a place upon i t " (p.

A c c o r d i n g t o adoption theory, the m e d i a serve as o n e o f the causal factors o f social c h a n g e . T h e mass m e d i a play a key role in bringing innovations to the attention o f p o t e n t i a l a d o p t e r s . T h e adopters, in turn, m a k e decisions t o take a c t i o n s , often o n the basis o f i n f o r m a t i o n supplied by the media. T h e t h e o r y o f the a c c u m u l a t i o n o f m i n i m a l effects offers o n e w a y t o understand l o n g - t e r m media influences.

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