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gagyianna's avatar

What should I write about in my thesis in connection with visual manipulation/ media manipulation?

Asked by gagyianna (4points) September 26th, 2017

My big topic is that, but I don`t have any concrete idea.

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6 Answers

muppetish's avatar

I find it’s more helpful to gather my primary texts when working on a big project than to take stock in a thesis first. What media do you plan to comment on? Televised news? PSAs? Magazine adverts? Twitter? After you have your general medium down, begin pulling out example texts to annotate and make connections between them. It’s great you have a main idea pinned down! But you need something to apply that idea to next.

I teach English composition, and this is a common activity that we do. Feel free to PM me if you want more help with your project!

Zaku's avatar

By manipulation you mean editing, cherry-picking, and modifying visual information to create a desired/inaccurate story to manipulate audiences?

gagyianna's avatar

Thank you for your help!

To be honest, I don`t know which part of media want I comment on…I just wanted some ideas, which topics are interesting for people. Some other thesis what are interesting for me: Images of women magazines, in commercials, etc.

By manipulation, I don`t mean anything yet, because this is the main topic what I had to choose (from a lot of topics). But it has to be in connection with visual culture.

I know, my whole thinking is chaos!

Zaku's avatar

My first thought would be to write about the shifts that have occurred and how they have even more potential for abuse as technology improves and audiences change, perhaps contrasted to the new channels opening up (Internet) and efforts to censor & control those.

For example, I experienced even in the 1980’s when I was part of a TV news story, that the media can and does edit its content to create a convincing succinct glimpse of what happened, that may reflect the actual event or might be quite different from what happened, but misses most of the detail and substance. A five-minute respectful yet challenging and interesting exchange got condensed to a one-liner question answered by “that’s a very good question!” making it look like the respondee had no good answer to a very basic question. That was accomplished by cherry-picking editing the exchange down to one fragment each. Upon further thought, it actually didn’t stray too far from the bottom-line, and it discarded a lot of dissembling and detail that a TV audience for a 60-second news story probably mostly wasn’t likely to hear, but that depended on an intelligent and fair editor to even get that much, and it seemed to make the government official responding look foolish in addition to the truth that I as the asker saw it (that there wasn’t really a good substantial answer to the question), and it left out the reasons why.

It seems to me that there have been massive shifts from then to now in the quality, intelligence level, integrity, professionalism, and impartiality of mainstream media, and that there is also a massive increase in the technical ability to manipulate media in new ways that many people probably don’t expect A) is possible nor B) “journalists” would do.

And the present and future of technology has even greater levels of video manipulation possible, including near-real-time fake or doctored talking heads and entire scenes.

The Internet offers new channels both for information and disinformation, which are already used by amateurs, audience, and professionals in both ways.

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

I’ve never written a formal thesis before, but my general sense of the topic is that one aims to advance an argument or proposition and then prove (or disprove) the proposition – to defend the thesis, that is – using facts, examples and experimental data and conclusions, and logical argument. We frequently do this informally on Fluther all the time; it’s why we’re here.

So “visual manipulation / media manipulation” may be the area of human endeavor that you want to examine, your topic, in a word, but the thesis is… whatever you decide that it should be. There’s no proposition set forth in “visual or media manipulation”, so no thesis… yet.

Do you want to make a case that political and opinion leaders frequently manipulate media (including images) to unfairly skew public opinion? That would seem to be a thesis that could be defended, but it might still be too broad.

It might also be a good thesis to propose that people actually demand that kind of manipulation; that they are too degraded analytically and logically to be able to think for themselves without being led by the hand and fed elementary and simplistic images, video and speeches to arrive at someone else’s predetermined conclusions. (This is what I think of most anthropogenic climate change” arguments, in fact. People don’t understand “climate”, or “science” or the elementary physics or chemistry that drives climate, and rely upon stirring images and narratives to lead them to foregone conclusions that do not require thought or understanding.) But I’m not going to propose your thesis for you, much less write it.

What claim do you propose to make with respect to media / visual manipulation? That’s your thesis.

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