“They saw their injured country's woe;
The flaming town, the wasted field;
Then rushed to meet the insulting foe;
They took the spear, - but left the shield.”
o/tSomebody sent me this article, FJ. I thought you might enjoy it. Also, i have already penned my response to it, and would like to append it too, especially as it pertains to a long-standing debate between us. It might clarify some of the points [misunderstandings] of that debate. But later. I don't want to "influence" you beforehand. ;)
I read the article... I'm not a huge fan of the Guardian, nor am I much a fan of "journalism". Perhaps I'm too much an admirer of the "Ben Franklin" (Silas Dogood) school of journalism... which sets out the newspaper as primarily an "entertainment" commodity....Or perhaps I'm too influenced by Nietzsche's "Day Labourer" critique (from his "On the Future of Our Educational Institutions"), which argues that the newspaper is an inadequate substitute for either culture and/or literature.Just call me a revolutionary... as both sides of the newspaper argument offered appear equally "flawed" to me (See the feet)If you have any specific aspects of the article that you'd like me to address, let me know.
Is this the "death" of the journalist and "birth" of the "journalist function"?I suppose as soon as you begin to evade responsibility for "authorship", you wind up in the squishie areas.
:)Could i just append my response to the person who sent the article to me, like i said? It does pertain to a long-standing debate between us. You will see. Below.
I will come straight to the point. The writer has no idea what she is talking about. [No wonder she is a journalist.] I mean take an old-fashioned tale; how it grows, multiplies, until you have no idea of what constituted its original core [if it is even possible to speak of one in this context]; it is how “myths” grow. What makes this possible? Is it the oral form, not bound by a fixed format? No. In fact, counterintuitive as it may seem, the oral form may have an exactly opposite effect on the “mutability” of a text, as Plato explains in this myth. [What this myth also shows you is that the spoken/written word dichotomy is not new but very old. It is also an artificial dichotomy, since, once a book hits the stands, it is already a part of the oral tradition; we speak about it, exchange opinions about it, and so on.] What is it, then? In order to understand that first you will have to understand what “constrains” something like a modern-day novel, puts a “closure” to it. It is not the printed format, but something else ... what we call the signifying machinary and the system of constraints characteristic of it. In plain English, certain signs [signifiers] have exactly this function, that they constrain the meaning of a text. One such is the “truth” sign [the idea that truth itself can be contained in a text], another is the “author” sign, or as somebody called it, the “author-fucntion”. It is of the latter that i would speak now, as the one most immediate in this context.The author is a modern figure, in the sense that he is the most important figure in any modern text, its centre, though seemingly outside of it. [For a similar phenomenon in Physics, read this. Riveting.] The very first question one asks when encountering any modern text is who is the author? He is the repositary of all meaning that is contained in it, one who binds it together. All the lines developing from it converge on him. But not so in the case of an old-fashioned tale. Here the “author-function” is either non-existent or is completely eclipsed by the “hero-function”.. The most important figure in an old-fashioned tale is its hero, who is, for narrative purposes, “immortal”; not only he has many “lives”, many adventures, some even conflicting with each other, but even his death fails to kill him, but, consecrated by it, he merely passes into true immortality, his godhhod, demigod-hood, or whatever. And so it is that we have a whole mythology centering around such figures as Hercules, Theseus, or, if we are looking for their more modern counterpart — to some extent — James Bond, [whose “mythology” is till growing long after the death of Ian Fleming].But how does it all signify for newspaper? A newspaper story too has no “author” sign [byline in its case]; but, even where there is one, it is not very powerful — which means it is liable to “grow”; it does, both orally and otherwise. [What internet has done is to merely expedite this process and bring it out in the open, that's it.] The writer has not got even this part right. For example, there existed, long before the dawn of the internet age, a whole apocrypha regarding Gandhi, especially concerning his experiments with his sexuality [some of it true, some not.] In fact, the phenomenon is so common that it has led to such divisions within the press as tabloids, gutter press, “rag”, state press, free press, etc., as though it was exclusive to only certain parts of it. Convenient fictions.
P.S. A newspaper is unlike almost every other modern text in this sense, in that it has no "author" sign, or a very weak one. I forgot to specify this in the omment above. :(
Well argued, especially the end. the PoMo's have effectively "killed" the journalist. we'll soon only receive our "news" soley through the practice of opinion polling.
...or worse, what's "trending" on Twitter.
Post a Comment