Lees tussen die lyne,,en,As dit kom by nuus,,en,dinge is selde soos dit lyk,,en,Die media kan nuusgebeure inkleur terwyl hulle tegnies objektief en streng feitelik bly,,en,Gekonfronteer met sulke verraderlike akkurate verslaggewing,,en,ons het min keuse as om tussen die reëls te lees,,en,Dit is 'n moeilike kuns,,en,eerste,,en,ons ontwikkel 'n gesonde skeptisisme,,en,Gewapen met hierdie vertroue-niemand-houding,,en,ons ondersoek die stuk om tot die bedoeling van die skrywer te kom,,en,die idee is nie altyd om die verborge agenda af te keur nie,,en,maar om bewus te wees daarvan dat daar een is,,en,altyd,,en,Skrywers gebruik 'n verskeidenheid tegnieke om hul agenda te bevorder,,en,In die eerste plek in hul arsenaal is die keuse van woorde,,en,Woorde het betekenisse,,en,maar hulle het ook konnotasies,,en,As voorbeeld,,en,kyk na my keuse van die woord,,en,arsenaal,,en,in die laaste sin,,en

When it comes to news, things are seldom what they seem. The media can colour news events while remaining technically objective and strictly factual. Faced with such insidiously accurate reporting, we have little choice but to read between the lines.

It is a tricky art. First, we develop a healthy attitude of scepticism. Armed with this trust-nobody attitude, we examine the piece to get to the writer’s intentions. Mind you, the idea is not always to disapprove of the hidden agenda, but to be aware that there is one — always.

Writers use a variety of techniques to push their agenda. First and foremost in their arsenal is the choice of words. Words have meanings, but they also have connotations. As a case in point, look at my choice of the word “arsenal” in the last sentence, wat in hierdie konteks bloot versameling beteken,,en,Maar weens die negatiewe konnotasie daarvan,,en,Ek het skrywers as u teëstanders uitgebeeld,,en,Ek kon gebruik het,,en,versameling,,en,repertoire,,en,of glad nie,,en,om die negatiwiteit weg te neem,,en,Die gebruik van,,en,gimmickry,,en,sou impliseer dat die skrywers meestal in hul pogings misluk,,en,Die keuse,,en,goody bag,,en,sal u 'n warm gevoel daaroor gee as gevolg van die assosiasie met kinderherinneringe,,en,Tensy u weet van my sak truuks,,en,wat 'n goeie konnotasie het,,en,U is my genade,,en,Wanneer konnotasie gebruik word om geo-politieke agendas aan te dryf,,en,ons moet die woordkeuses met meer ernstige aandag bestudeer,,en,In 'n Indiese koerant,,en,Ek het eenkeer opgemerk dat hulle die woorde konsekwent gebruik,,en,militante,,en,militantheid,,en,'n sekere beweging aan te meld,,en,terwyl u 'n ander soortgelyke beweging beskryf met woorde soos,,en,terroriste,,en,terrorisme,,en. But because of its negative connotation, I have portrayed writers as your adversaries. I could have used “collection” or “repertoire” (or nothing at all) to take away the negativity. Using “gimmickry” would imply that the writers usually fail in their efforts. Choosing “goody bag” would give you a warm feeling about it because of its association with childhood memories. Unless you know of my bag of tricks (which has a good connotation), you are at my mercy.

When connotation is employed to drive geo-political agendas, we have to scrutinize the word choices with more serious care. In an Indian newspaper, I once noticed that they consistently used the words “militant” or “militancy” to report a certain movement, while describing another similar movement with words like “terrorist” or “terrorism”. Albei gebruike kan akkuraat wees,,en,maar tensy ons versigtig is,,en,ons kan dalk maklik wegdink om te dink dat een beweging wettig is, terwyl die ander nie,,en,Amerikaners is meesters in hierdie wedstryd,,en,Elke woord wat deur die woordvoerder van die departement van die departement gesê word, word so noukeurig gekies dat dit naïef sou wees om die gepaardgaande konnotasies te versien,,en,Kyk na die keuse van Hillary Clinton van die woord,,en,misspeak,,en,boeke kan op daardie keuse geskryf word,,en,Wat nie gesê word nie, is net so belangrik soos wat nie is nie,,en,wat sorg vir nog 'n kragtige taktiek in die vorming van die openbare mening,,en,Stel jou voor dat 'n TV-verslag so verloop,,en,Pentagon het berig 'n chirurgiese staking met 'n laser-geleide raket wat van 'n onbemande roofdiervliegtuig afgevuur is, het vyf terroriste doodgemaak in die mees gewilde lys van die VSA,,en, but unless we are careful, we may get easily swayed into thinking that one movement is legitimate while the other is not.

Americans are masters in this game. Every word spoken by the states department spokesperson is so carefully chosen that it would be naïve to overlook the associated connotations. Look at Hillary Clinton’s choice of the word “misspeak” — books can be written on that choice!

What is left unsaid is as important as what is not, which makes for another potent tactic in shaping the public opinion. Imagine a TV report that runs like this: “Pentagon has reported a surgical strike with a laser-guided missile fired from an unmanned predator aircraft killing five terrorists in the US most wanted list. However, burgerlikes beweer dat die bom op 'n troupartytjie doodgeskiet het,,en,mense insluitend,,en,kinders en tien vroue,,en,Ons het nie hierdie eis onafhanklik geverifieer nie.,,en,Terwyl u feitelik akkuraat bly,,en,hierdie verslag het daarin geslaag om die burgerlike sterftes te diskrediteer deur te speel met die konnotasies van,,en,verslag,,en,eis,,en,en ook nie te sê dat die Pentagon-verslag ook nie geverifieer is nie,,en,hoe kan onbemande vliegtuie en laserbegeleide ammunisies hul teikens mis,,en,het geen manier om te weet wat daar regtig aangegaan het nie,,en,Maar ons moet die proses van kleur van die verslag onderskei en die vermoë ontwikkel,,en,of ten minste 'n begeerte,,en,om die waarheid en bedoelings agter die woorde te soek,,en,Hierdie vermoë is veral van kardinale belang as gevolg van 'n kommerwekkende neiging in die wêreldmedia,,en,die ontstaan ​​van mediakonglomerate,,en 35 people including 15 children and ten women. We haven’t independently verified this claim.” While staying factually accurate, this report has managed to discredit the civilian deaths by playing with the connotations of “report” and “claim”, as well as by not saying that the Pentagon report also was unverified. Besides, how can super-duper unmanned aircraft and laser-guided munitions miss their targets?

We, of course, have no means of knowing what actually went on there. But we have to discern the process of colouring the report and develop an ability (or at least a desire) to seek the truth and intentions behind the words.

This ability is especially crucial now because of a worrying trend in the global media — the genesis of media conglomerates. Wanneer die meeste van die wêreld hul inligting van 'n beperkte aantal konglomerate kry,,en,hulle dra 'n buitensporige hoeveelheid krag en swaai oor ons en ons opinies,,en,Tensy ons jaloers waak oor ons vermoë om tussen die reëls te lees,,en,ons marsjeer miskien stil in 'n ontstellende dapper nuwe wêreld,,en,'N Kantooroorlewingsgids,,en, they wield an inordinate amount of power and sway over us and our opinions. Unless we jealously guard our ability to read between the lines, we may be marching quietly into a troubling brave new world.

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