Friday, January 07, 2005

White Noise Press Coverage

As is to be expected on opening day, articles and movie reviews abound in about every paper and weekly in the country. I get updates from several sources as these are released and I wanted to comment on some of my observations as I read what these people the rest of us trust have to say.

While much of the coverage is right on and I've found many movie reviews I quite agree with, I did find it interesting that most of the stuff you will read about EVP is just rehashed from the official press releases.

I even wonder if some of these writers actually read anything else about EVP before they wrote their piece. That's just lazy journalism. Count how many times you find this in your reading: "a process by which the dead communicate with the living through the static and white noise of modern electronic devices". Thank God for cut and paste, I guess.

I would also like to ask some of the reviewers if they actually saw the movie? I don't know how many times I've seen it reported that Ian McNeice plays a medium. The character has a whole long line about how he is not a medium or a psychic and the dead contact him when he and Rivers first met at his house. Were the reviewers getting popcorn during this part? Or did a press release get printed wrong?

I also see the "this is crazy" articles everyone expected. Not surprisingly, this point of view takes up three or four times the space devoted to believers, but I'm not sure I blame mainstream editors for this. Most readers want to hear "this is all crazy" anyway. Telling people they can talk to the dead might just kill your career.

Sometimes the news is less about the news and more about not upsetting anyone, particularly the advertisers. They just fill the space around the ads with whatever people want to read and don't worry too much about making us think or challenging our beliefs at all because most of us would just write mean letters or buy another publication. Besides, it's hard to prove EVP and most in the press don't like to do more than laugh at things you can't prove, especially ghosts. Again, you might end up having to contact your career with EVP if editors or readers think you are crazy.

So, if you believe, don't expect to see a sudden jump in the popularity of EVP with most sections of society or the press. If you are a skeptic take comfort in the fact it seems most of the world agrees with you and there is little motivation in the press to do more than laugh it off as crazy people picking up the radio on their tape recorders and believing it's ghosts.

Too bad many writers never bothered to look deeper into EVP or even took the time to get all their facts right. I'm coming to expect that more and more in mainstream media. It really is a shame.

No comments: