How the Media Manipulates the Truth - Frontline and Mcdonald's Angus Beef Burger -

“Whoever holds the power, holds the truth”

Truth in the media acts as a tangible concept, where intentional manipulation and deceptive journalism occurs to embellish details in order to present to the audience a proclaimed truth. The relentless pursuit for ratings modifies ethical behaviour as the media distorts and constructs truth to suit an appealing agenda. The lack of moral concerns, desire for image over substance and subversive journalism contributes to the corruption of truth evident in Rob Sitch’s satirical current affairs series, Frontline in episodes “...Add sex and stir” and “The Siege” and Andrew Denton’s TV series The Gruen Transfer in the episode segment Ad Crunch: “Angus Beef Burgers”

“The Siege”, an episode of the satirical spin-off Frontline, shows how the media constructs and distorts the truth in order to gain ratings for revenue. Frontline uses a H-8 camera and cinema verite style to create verisimilitude. The use of reconstruction and editing conveys a degree of manipulation, as seen when Brian approves the deliberate use of a mature aged psychology university student to appear as a professional psychologist, as he looks “mature aged …he’s got a beard”. Brian adds to the falsity of the scene by suggesting the student be arranged in front of a bookcase, where the symbolic messages of knowledge and wisdom hence entices an audience into believing the credibility, professionalism and authenticity of the story. By purposely using reconstruction, Frontline is able to aesthetically tamper with what is regarded as ineffective; evident in Marty’s intentional use of posture and body language in “crouching down” in front of a police car to emphasise the danger and unlawful activity surrounding his report site. This manipulation is further sensationalised by crossing back to Mike Moor’s provocative comments of equating the siege to a “Rambo situation”. The Hollywood allusion over-dramatises the situation while the repeated use of the word “gun”...