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Title: "witnessing" or "mediating" distant suffering? ethical questions across moments of text, production, and reception
Authors: Ong, Jonacthan C.
First Published: 24-Aug-2012
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Citation: Television and New Media, 2014, 15 (3), pp. 179-196
Abstract: This article identifies that the current literature on "distant suffering" lacks a nuanced account of the relationship between televised representations of suffering and the audiences that encounter these in their everyday lives. Text-centered studies overemphasize how news narratives cause compassion fatigue, while audience-centered studies enumerate audience responses with inadequate references to the textual elements and social factors that shape these responses. While recent theorizations about "media witnessing" have provided a guidepost in thinking about the ethical consequences of showing and seeing suffering in the media, it however obscures the normative from the descriptive and universalizes the experience of the "witness" it speaks about. To address these gaps and develop a holistic approach to examine televised suffering, the article proposes the use of mediation theory to account for the distinct ethical questions that arise from the specific "moments" of mediation and how they should altogether inform the ethical critique of media. © The Author(s) 2012.
DOI Link: 10.1177/1527476412454687
ISSN: 1527-4764
eISSN: 1552-8316
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2012, SAGE Publications. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Media and Communication

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Witnessing or Mediating Distant Suffering? Academia.docPost-review (final submitted)104.5 kBMicrosoft WordView/Open
Witnessing or Mediating Distant Suffering_ Academia.pdfPost-review (final submitted)205.08 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

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