Frontline Essay

How do the creators of the fictional current affairs program Frontline manipulate representations of the truth?

Frontline is an Australian comedy TV series which satirises Australian current affairs programs and their reporting. It follows the fortunes of a fictional current affairs program called Frontline, which is a direct satire to the media’s ways of representing the truth and how it is recorded. This underlying satirical message gives the program the black edge that is renowned for. It both showcases and satirises the stereotypical personalities that are found in a typical news program, the ruthless producer, egotistic presenter, ambitious and sometimes cynical reporting staff, who will resort to any trick or technique which will give them an edge over the competition and maintain or increase their status.

The misrepresentation of the truth is heavily emphasised in the course of the show, in particular, the episode, ‘The Siege’. In this episode, the creators of Frontline manipulate the truth in many ways as to make it seem as the truth. One such example is when Frontline reporter, Martin di Stasio crouches whilst reporting from the scene of the siege. He couches as to show the audience that he is a dangerous area when in reality, he as 5 kilometres away. This makes the audience believe that reporters are putting their lives at risk to document the news. Another event in this episode is an interview with the ‘expert’ in psychology. As the Frontline team couldn’t find a psychology professor to give a expert opinion on the topic, they hired a psychology student, and use the stereotype of being smart if you “have a beard”. This is further exaggerated, when Brian’s order to “throw him front of a book case”, as to make his opinion seem legitimate and insightful.
The theme of exaggerating the truth is consistent throughout many of the episodes of the show. In the episode, ‘Smaller Fish to Fry’, the Frontline team deliberately choose to...