WHAT'S THE REAL STORY?

A reporter's view

The media landscape today is awash in imagery. Whether it's fictional or fact-based, on YouTube, a television drama or a news program, it all has one thing in common. If the story is a natural disaster, a depiction of a dysfunctional family, or a political scandal, all of it is presenting mental images of who a person is. As one takes the images in, they can become a sort of perpetual proving ground for our concept of ourselves, our sense of identity. Every story becomes an opportunity to decide, "Is that how I see myself and others?"

As a reporter, I've made a practice of reminding myself that behind many of these stories is a storyteller, with a conscious desire to persuade. When my now 19and 22-year-old children were young, I often reminded them that the images they were watching in everything from a commercial to an online video were somebody's creation. And therefore, they should look for and question underlying assumptions. (I suppose it's a good sign that if I try to do this now, they simply raise an eyebrow, as if to say, "Mom, do you really think we don't know that already?")

NEXT IN THIS ISSUE
Article
SUPERSTARS—AND WHAT STAYS WITH US
August 10, 2009
Contents

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.

Submit