The Limitation of Mainstream Journalism: The Lens of Zizek and Baudrillard - Essay Example

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As scholars like Slavoj Zizek and Jean Baudrillard have claimed, one of the major indicators of mainstream journalism is the apparent differentiation between representation and reality, on which earlier approaches toward cultural construction could still depend on, is not credible or acceptable anymore…
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The Limitation of Mainstream Journalism: The Lens of Zizek and Baudrillard
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Download file to see previous pages Although the Western audience may visualize the presence of ‘reality’ behind the images presented by the commodified media, so it is asserted by Zizek, people’s “ruthless pursuit of the Real” (Zizek 2007, 24) is but “the ultimate stratagem to avoid confronting the Real” (p. 24), permitting the audience to translate the Real into the ultimate melodramatic outcome, as shown in the successes of The Truman Show and The Matrix. This is the context criticized by Jean Baudrillard: “The very definition of the real has become that of which it is possible to give an equivalent reproduction” (Baudrillard 1983, 62). This trend, in several circles, frequently referred to as one of the core components of ‘postmodernism,’ has been recognized as a rejection of the chances to ever cope with the extremism of reality that Lenin talked about (Arva 2008). Actual events and everything that is ‘real’ in the world cannot be represented because it is constantly already an image, because the images make up reality itself (Klaver 2000); Andy Warhol describes this vividly and briefly: “I don’t know where the artificial stops and the real begins” (Wolff & Geahigan 1997, 59). In the period after September 11 numerous people propose that the attacks marked the closing stages of postmodernism. These suggestions were aired all over the American popular press (Flatley 2002). The diagnosis: the terrorist hostilities were a remarkable ‘return of the real’ (Flatley 2002): ‘they were not a simulacrum [likeness similarity] but a horrifyingly actual event of historical proportions; here reality had emerged with perfect clarity from amidst the confusing simulacra [representation]’ (p. 4). A confusion between the real and simulated here is absent. Slavoj Zizek (Taylor 2011) equated the impact to the scene in The Truman Show when the lead role discovers that he has been existing in a simulated reality, or the scene when Keanu Reeves in The Matrix is enlightened of the ‘desert of the real’ (p. 201) that he truly dwells in. Everyone knows that the contemporary world is frequently disrupted by episodes of violence and terrorism; however, American has the capacity to inhabit a simulated world where in this ceases to be the case (Nightingale & Ross 2003). A lot of individuals, outside of the United States, seem to be feeling that “Now you know what it feels like to live in the rest of the world” (Flatley 2002, 4). The anticipation shown in numerous places was that Americans, by means of their own experience of anguish through the recently restored ‘real’, would acquire a brand new compassion for the vicious reality where in the rest of humanity dwelled in (Klaver 2000). Hence, the objective of this essay is to discuss the limitations of mainstream journalism within the perspectives of Slavoj Zizek and Jean Baudrillard. Zizek and the Limitations of Mainstream Journalism If journalism, specifically in its printed form, has increasingly lost its importance within the overall human communication paradigm, it is not merely due to its inherent weakness as a carrier of meaning, but due to the ‘the precarious status of reality’ (Arva 2008, 60) itself as well, or what is referred to by Slavoj Zizek as ‘fantasy-frame of reality’ (p. 60). This section will review and discuss Zizek’s idea of mainstream journalism, particularly its limitations or weaknesses. As emphasized by Zizek, even though ‘reality’ is established by the process of ‘reality-testing’, the framework of reality is organized by the excesses of hallucinatory vision (Zizek 1993): The ultimate guarantee of our ‘ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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