The perception of truth in documentariesThe role of the narrator Gerard SmitCommunication and Journalism Research Centre HU
PURPOSENARRATIVE REPRESENTATION EVIDENCESTRUCTURE OF SOCIAL LIFE FACTS
RQHow does the role of the narratoraffects the perception of truth
Why?Foster the critical mind of the(journalism) students, by offering aheuristic device to analyzedocumentaries
How?• Literature study• Content analysis• Interviews
Results• Categories of analysis: – Distance … to author, viewer, characters – Degree of self-reflection – Focalization, or center of consciousness
Reaction• Its just way too coincidental that it all would come together like this. Too perfect a setup. It does’nt fit in with how I see the world, honestly, and sets off my bullshit detectors right from the start.
Analysisnarrator • Distance: small • Self-reflection: abundant • Center of consciousness: narrator
Modes of documentary film Voice of God Odyssey Fly on the wall Intellectual/emotional Cinema veritié expository quest• Distance: great • Distance: zero • Distance: small • Distance:• Reflection: • Reflection: • Reflection: variable hidden none variable • Reflection:• Consciousness: • Consciousness: • Consciousness: mostly absent hidden none narrator • Consciousness: half hidden
Conclusion• Role of the narrator is an aid to analysis – A critical examination of the production of documentary truth could be supported by the the analysis of the role of the narrator in terms of distance, self reflection and center of consciousness How does the role of the narrator affects the perception of truth in television documentaries?