Five Ways to Tell One Story-Roman Palanski

70s Sex Scandal Finally Resolved....Almost

Sex scandals have always managed to grab the media’s attention on various outlets. For whatever reason sex has appeared to sale. This has been a topic that has always remained in the news in various settings. There is a Web site dedicated solely to presidential sex scandals and we have all heard about sex offender cases such as in the instance of Phillip Garrido and young Jaycee Lee Lugard that have caused media frenzies. This is why the world wide spread of the 70s sex scandal of Roman Polanski which has recently led to Polanski’s arrest is not a shock at all. What is a shock is how the same story has managed to be told differently by so many different media outlets. After examining this same event through five unique media outlets it is clear that each source has its own objectives in choosing how they relate messages to their audiences and has created a plan to ensure that their objectives get met.

In 1977 Roman Polanski a Frenchman and world renowned director and award pled guilty to having sex with a 13 year-old girl. He was also charged with giving drugs and alcohol to 13 year-old Samantha Geimer, however he pled not guilty to those charges. Fearful that he would have to spend more time in jail after the 42 days that he had already served Polanski left the United States and remained in a game of cat and mouse where he lived in exile for 32 years until recently when he was finally arrested in Switzerland by United States authorities. Now the topic at debate is if Polanski can be found guild as a result of an extradition treaty between the US and Switzerland if at the dismay of France.

In a New York Times article the case of Polanski is reported with minimal bias. While there is evidence that supports the belief that the writer of the article believes that Polanski is guilty of raping Samantha Geimer, who is labeled as a “victim” it is clear that most of the article consists solely of factual accounts of what allegedly happened, what has been happening since Polanski fled the United States in an attempt of resisting arrest and what will occur if he is put on trial and found guilty. The article also focused on the successful career of Polanski noting many of his award winning films. There is even a quote from the French culture minister, Frédérc Mitterrand, who commented favorably on Polanski.

The Charlotte Observer focuses the article much differently than the previous article. While the New York Times article does not mention the possibility of bail for Polanski this is the main topic in the Charlotte Observer. This article also calls Samantha Geimer a victim, but manages to mention how she “joined in Polanski's bid for dismissal, saying she wants the case to be over. She sued Polanski and reached an undisclosed settlement”. This article also mentions the possibility of manipulation in the Polanski’s 1978 case. The Associated Press who distributed this story to the Charlotte Observer does not include any quotes from people speaking favorable about Polanski there are generalized quotes which just add to the facts presented from the article. The focus of this article is different from the focus of the New York Times article; however there are many other ways to tell this shocking tale.
Al Jazeera English, the Doha, Qatar headquartered 24-hour English language and current affairs news channel presented the story of the Polanski arrest much different from the previous sources. This condensed version of the story talks about what happened and the shock that was associated it by the arrest of Polanski for the directors of the Zurich film festival that Polanski was attending in Switzerland when he was arrested. The article briefly talks about the events 32 years ago that led to the arrest of Polanski and also mentions that Greimer has shown support for Polanski’s case to be dropped after the settlement that she received. There is also a short section which lists the many honors that Polanski has received as a result of his films that he created. This article kept all three aspects of the story separate unlike the other two articles which managed to combine the articles. The delivery of print news is often different from the delivery of television and radio news.

In a CNN Video Fredricka Whitfield and criminal defense attorney, Steve Corn discuss the implementations of Polanski now that he has been detained by Swiss authorities in an interview setting. While this median of media tells a similar story it tells it from the perspective of Polanski and what caused him to flee America. It talks about the malpractice that was handled in by the judge and the district attorney of the case. This is one of the few instances that look at things from the view point of Polanski and even questions the American judicial system, although corn did not shy away from using the term “child molester”. The television medium is easier to comprehend to the average person and the screen shots make it more appealing and enticing to tune into it. This CNN interview could be the median that many people use to form their opinion. The conversational tone of radio can often get the same reaction as TV although it is not as enticing.

Using a recording of past movies and quotes from several authority figures NPR Radio News gave an account of the case of Polanski’s case. Unlike the other media sources Greimer is never portrayed as a victim, although his movies are described as being “provocative and often brutal” which gives the listener an idea of his character. This presents some bias to the story although this is the only time a bias is presented in this broadcast. Legal professionals are interviewed to give the listener and idea of what implications Polanski is currently facing. This source is informative with little opinion or ideologies of the stations

The news is often like a game of telephone that school children play. You start with one story and by the time it gets to the last person there is a completely different story. While doing research on this story I found publications that placed Polanski and Greimer at a party, when in actuality the setting was a photo shoot. While drugs and alcohol have been said to be involved some stories to do not report this information. It is often interesting to get a grasp of all the things media report, which is why it is imperative to get news from multiple sources to make sure you are getting the true story.

The Effectiveness of Our Beloved PSAs and Commercials

We’ve all heard it before. The old “everyone’s doing it,” or it will only hurt you if you don’t know what you’re doing. Well in a 2008 PSA Nascar driver, Graham Rahal made an attempt to prevent texting and driving using the emotion commonly referred to as fear in 29 seconds. This PSA, sponsored by used statistics that support the belief that texting and driving will increase the possibility of a crash, Rahal attempted to persuade viewed to stop texting and driving. Rahal who is known for his fast driving is shown throughout the PSA whipping his race car around corners and finishing races in top place. His success as a race car driver gives the PSA an appeal to knowledge as Nascar drivers are expert drivers.

Unfortunately, for all the people trying to put a stop to texting while driving this commercial did not have an effective message. Recently while in class a toll was taken as to how many people text and drive and close to the entire class raised their hands admitting that they send the occasional LOL, smiley face while behind the wheel. The commercial which was obviously created to have an appeal for people aged 16-35 did not have an impact on its viewers. It has been over a year since the PSA was released and legislation is still being debated and passed in attempt to force people from committing this form of “suicide” and “murder” as some top legislators would like to label it.

PSAs are created with the sole purpose of getting people to change their behavior. While PSAs like the one mentioned above are not very effective, as people are stuck in their ways and to disbelief of many most youth have mastered this communication phenomena so that they can text, while driving and manage to keep their hands on the wheel, there are some PSAs that are good in invoking change. Commercials that also have a similar purpose as PSAs also have to be able to convince people to behave as they want.

One commercial from the company that we hate to love and love to eat released a commercial last year that used popular black culture to get more people thinking about their crispy, juicy mcnuggets. In this commercial where a black, male actor singles a very catchy jingle in a music video setting to a black female actress the already popular mcnugget increased its popularity
People in the commercial’s target audience of men and women ages 18-35 were constantly singing the jingle, which I am sure was planned by McDonalds. Its witty rhymes and hilarious ending of “girl you got a 10 piece, don’t be stingy,” kept people thinking about McDonalds. Even I found myself up one night searching YouTube to get a glimpse of this commercial that I had heard so much of. This commercial, which was often played late at night seduced our emotional desire for that late night snack and what would you know…McDonalds only serves those ever so famous 10 piece mcnuggets on the late night menu.
While there are different elements that make different commercials effective the way the jingle stuck in your head and kept you thinking about McDonalds is what made this commercial a good investment.

To view the PSA click
To view the commercial click

Finding a Cure for Upper Motor Neuron Diseases

There are many illnesses that affect people in the world, the country your state and your city. Many of these ailments such as cancer are broadly publicized and when it strikes close to home we are already prepared with ideas on how to assess the situation. However, not all ailments that hit close to home are well known. Some people are affected with diseases that will change the way they communicate and live their lives. The diseases that plague their lives are so uncommon it is rare that a cure for the disease has been a major topic in media.

Sarah Witt woke up one morning and realized that her life would never be the same. As she became disabled as a result of a motor neuron disease called primary lateral sclerosis, which is closely related to ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. While some people may have been stopped in their tracks this disease caused Witts, a woman who had once been a dedicated marthon woman to keep running. While she herself is unable to run she has managed to encourage people from all around to run in the honor of herself and other people around the world who have been affected by upper motor neuron disease.

Through her dedication and commitment to finding a cure Witt created the Magnificent Mile Race as a way to help fund researchers to find a cure for upper motor neuron diseases. This year will be the fourth annual Magnificent Mile Race bringing Witt and others who are dedicated to finding a cure one step closer.

Ths story is an inspiration to be for so many reasons. I too have been affected by rare diseases with no causes and have seen it nearly destroy my family. It is truly encouraging to see the efforts of one woman go so far and to have it happen right in my back yard is truly AMAZING! If Sarah can work to find a cure...what is it that we can do to change the world?

Support Sarah Witt on September 13, 2009 for the fourth annual Magnificent Mile Race in downtown Raleigh, N.C.

Check out this video about the race.