Representation. Ideas and Issues. Types of Representation. Positive Representation
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Authors and directors decide how they will portray particular characters and subject matter long before we read or watch their texts. This is called representation and it is influenced by many factors including but not limited to: age, gender, class, geography and economic situation. We call this a cultural context.
When an author or director is in favour of a certain idea or issue, it is more than likely that he or she will create a positive representation of it, that is, only what is good about the subject will be presented to the audience.
The purpose for this is so that we as an audience will adopt the same view point as the author or director. An example of this would be advertising – we are only told the positive aspects about a product. Think of an example of a positive representation of an idea or an issue that you have seen recently and we will discuss them in a few moments.
Negative representations are simply the opposite of the just explained positive representation. They are created when an author or director has an unfavourable opinion of a particular idea or issue, based on his or her cultural context, and because of this they consciously or sub-consciously only reveal the negative aspects of the subject.
An example of this is various media reports of the ‘boat people’, when journalists believe that immigration is detrimental to the success of Australia, articles are written that focus only on the negative aspects of immigration and the lack of skills and language that immigrants arrive with. There is no discussion of positive immigration, or the living conditions of migrants in their home countries.
The final type of representation that I want you to be aware of is misrepresentation. This is when an author or director wilfully deceives and audience about a particular idea or issue because of their own bias.
An example of this is the documentary Bra Boys, when the Abberton brothers discuss their dislike for drugs and fore ground their belief in clean living, they also discussed that they would only fight if attacked, that they never instigated an attack. Only two years after the documentary was released it was revealed that several members of the group featured in the documentary were involved in a cocaine smuggling ring, one of the Abberton brothers Jai was a heroin addict and another brother Dakota was arrested for assault of an unarmed elderly woman in an attempted robbery.
This is a clear instance of misrepresentation in a text.
Over the next three weeks you will be working on your first application for the course. Your task will be to create, in groups of three or four, a radio segment that you will broadcast over LCFM.
Each group needs to create a either a three or four minute radio segment, depending on their group numbers, that discusses their idea or issue, and the group needs to decide whether their issue will be presented positively or negatively. As this is a group task, all group members need to speak for one minute each – this should be in conversation with each other, you may decide to have differing opinions from each other.
The segment needs to be thoroughly researched, with evidence to support each claim that is made, for example: ‘No terrorists have ever arrived by boat in Australia, this is backed up by the rethink refugees website’.
Some ideas and issues you could consider for your task: racial acceptance, patriotism, gun control, social networking sites, mateship, violence – one punch can kill campaign, politics, education reforms, pulp mill, gay marriage and drink driving.
The following is an example of radio banter, this will make up your C4 mark so pay attention –
This task will be assessed on the following criteria:
1. Communicate accurately in a range of modes.
4. Work constructively with others.
6. Plan, organise and complete activities.
9. Negotiate, reflect upon and take responsibility for learning.
Read the hand out entitled ‘How to Write a Radio Transcript’
Group members will be selected
Brainstorm ideas – for example, you might know someone who is an expert in a particular field and could be interviewed as part of your radio task – remember they would have to be available during school time to record the segment.
Ensure you ask questions as this task progresses, you will have six lessons to research and write your script and select your songs and then next week we will be recording and broadcasting your segments on LCFM.