Death of News & Rise of Narrative


John Fraim

Make no mistake about it: politics is alive and well in this time when we are all supposed to sing with a common song since we all face a common enemy. The two political sides have battled viciously for four years and are not about to cease battle during the virus crisis. In all of this, the era of reporting the current definition of news has changed to now creating and communicating competing narratives.

Ownership of today’s news is constantly based on the daily barrage of competing media in America. The battle line between the two competing views of the news is as strong as it’s ever been, even during the Civil War. The modern battle line is, in effect, a type of digital Maginot Line isolating the culture into two digital versions of reality.

Each side develops a grand narrative about the news today. Of course, the news is predominantly about the virus. It offers an ideal opportunity for cultural anthropologists and others to study a new form of dynamics in America. For the first time in many years, there is that possibility for a return of the collectiveness of 9/11. Yet media has become much more sophisticated since 9/11. Sophistication has led to the creation of more powerful media environment or media ecologies.

Will the result of the virus bring about a more common feeling in culture? Or, will another feeling dominant in the new era of history termed Post Virus (PV)?

One suggests a set of foundational facts and mythology is created by each side of the narrative machine. A common history of this particular news idea that captures all attention. Each of the two mythologies reinforce the particular view of reality held by the group. Largely, it the view of reality based on one’s digital surrounding environment. It is the only environment that many members of current culture remember in their lives. It is a competing environment in the mind of the older baby-boom culture.

What we have are two key digital environments based on the two grand symbols at the founding of America: liberty and equality. Liberty, the masculine symbol and equality, the feminine symbol. Never in history have the two grand archetypes of symbols been at such perfect opposition than when they locked horns in the founding of the American idea. Of course, the two symbols have been in embodied in the grand duality always present in American culture and society and politics like few other cultures in the world.

The two symbols, always ascending or descending in dominance over culture, controlled by the laws of cycles nature cycles, expressed in various administrations controlled by the equality or freedom symbols.

The most powerful social media magnetic force today: bonding together digital connections on social media and social connections in popular culture. It represents the most powerful bonding force among younger generations.

Today, with information and social media access more available than ever before, it is possible to create and live in one’s life in a digitally, created world more than ever. And, in the digital worlds growing corresponding technologies of virtual reality and artificial intelligence. Certainly, the most advanced video games already present a world like this far beyond what many can envision.

Consider the below current story from the big brand name AP News. An old, respected authority on that product called the “News” for many years. Here, laying the subtle background for the equality side of the American symbolism by suggesting that the idea of Federalism (equality, feminine archetype) triumphs over the idea of States Rights (freedom, masculine archetype). The grand ideas like Federalism and States, equality and freedom, feminine and masculine. They are major parts of the argument or the grand narrative being created by each side today.

Here is AP’s attempt to lay early ownership over the idea of Federalism in the current battle to own narrative of our times. In the article below, the President is criticized for choosing freedom (state choice) over equality (federal interaction) in response to the great virus.

“Virus Pulls Federalism Debate into the 21st Century”

3 thoughts on “Death of News & Rise of Narrative

  1. Nowhere is the notion of “narrative” more singularly celebrated and raised to deification than in Marxist postmodern theory. Since humans think mostly in words it is thought that the modification of that word-based soup stock would change our natures towards the humane. Leftist social engineers and their lackeys in academia began their campaign to render certain modes of verbal expression politically incorrect while using the term “hater” like the Nazi SS used police dogs at the rail platform of Bergen-Belsen.

    Such anti-haterism did the Northern Italian senior citizen population no favors as grave social consequences were directed towards those tending to illustrate that the source of the virus was Wuhan, China and, furthermore, most of their luxury goods Chinese laborers were also from Wuhan, China.

    Narrative is another word for rhetoric, the study of persuasion with words. This is the mud wrestling pit of lawyers, propagandists and the advertising industry. The “critical theory” of contemporary semioticians is equally dirty.

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