What images are we accepting?

Technology has enhanced mankind's ability to describe and picture the visible world. But who's doing the reporting? And is this really news we're getting?

An educator has authored a book in which he makes some IX provocative observations on how visual imagery influences human thought and behavior. In the chapter headed "The Medium Is the Metaphor" he writes, "The news of the day is a figment of our technological imagination." And a little farther on he adds, "Without a medium to create its form, the news of the day does not exist." Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death (New York: Elisabeth Sifton Books-Viking, 1985), p. 8 .

For generations, human events—via the printed word, and more recently through radio, photography, and now the visual imagery of television—have been presented to us by a succession of scenes that vividly portray human existence in all phases, from the wretched to the lofty. The portrayal, presented as defining reality, can be very persuasive.

The wedding
March 21, 1988

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