May 26, 2021
“How might the context in which knowledge is presented influence whether it is accepted or rejected?”
Object 1: A Wikipedia page
The first object I have chosen is a Wikipedia page published on the 17th of February 2021. The article is telling readers that it is not always a trustworthy source, as it can be edited by anyone, thus the information their pages withhold is not necessarily reliable. It also talks about how fallacious information often takes a considerable amount of time to be corrected or even acknowledged that it is incorrect to put a warning on the page.
This object is relevant to the exhibition as we are often told not to believe everything we read online, with more emphasis on Wikipedia. However, this article is provided by the company itself, and therefore it can be assumed that it is a more trustworthy Wikipedia article because they are addressing the unreliability of some of their articles and admitting to the faults in their services. The context in which the article is written uses formal language which portrays a sincere tone, contributes to its believability, which begs the question of whether the context in which information is presented does in fact play a significant role in how the information is consumed and its impact onthe reader. You could argue that because the page is on the Wikipedia website, it is still considered untrustworthy however, this page is also not available to edit by the public and therefore, we are assured that the information is firsthand, and the message isn’t changed along the way. In this case, the context in which information is presented influences the reader in such a way that they respond positively to its content and accept the information.
Object 2: A biased newspaper article by the Daily Mail
This article was written by David Barrett and published on the 11th of March 2021. The Daily Mail is a notorious right-wing paper that is known to be biased. This article presents peaceful/silent protests in an evidently negative light. The first thing you see is the headline, which is written with a harsh tone, the first three words being “call to ban”. Immediately this has a negative connotation as bans are only carried out in the most extreme of cases, which would imply that the protests have become alarming enough that action must be taken.
This article enriches the exhibition because the context in which it presents peaceful protests is disruptive, which allows the reader to be deceived into thinking the article is trustworthy. This article is provided by the company known to hold strong political views but written by Barrett, who is a home affairs correspondent. Meaning he writes about big stories and the highest profile issues affecting our communities including gun crime, terrorism, CSE, the region’s policing. The author being someone who’s specialised in this area, can manipulate the audience into thinking the information is trustworthy. However, the attention should be on the company’s political stand as the majority of writers/editors for that newspaper, in this case, the Daily Mail, would have similar or the same views on politics. The picture provided by the newspaper is eye-catching because of the overpowering red colour. Red is often associated with violence and anger which could allow people who skim over the picture to build on the negativity Barret is creating. However, if the reader looks at the picture properly, they will see that the protest does not look enraged, and they are not participating in any violence. Therefore, due to the picture as well as the reputation of the article’s publisher, the context in which protests are presented is rejected.
Object 3: Cigarette Pack from 1930s
This object is an advertisement for a cigarette packet in 1931, provided by Camel. This advertisement shows a doctor holding the packet of cigarettes while the catch phrase is “Give your throat a Vacation”. The advertisement includes a long paragraph explains how good Camel cigarettes are compared to any other brand. With knowledge of the 21st century we can see the issues with this advertisement however, this was made in 1931, a time when cigarettes were being normalized as a general thing and becoming more popular.
It enhances the exhibition as cigarettes are presented in a positive context. At the time, there was not much research going on to find out how cigarettes affected the body and its health. The context in which cigarettes are presented in the 21st century makes them unattractive and unhealthy and therefore, they are rejected. The context in which this advertisement presents cigarettes, glorifies them. The word “fresh” is misleading because the word fresh is often associated with clean, suggesting that the product is clean from any harm or that it feels like fresh air when it is inhaled. The bold “give your throat a vacation” adds to the belief you the cigarette is good for your body. The context in which the cigarettes are presented in the paragraph explains that the product is good rather than opening up the assumption people might get from the bold phrases. The context in which cigarettes are presented by a doctor showing off the packet with a smile on his face allows the information to be accepted. The picture takes up most of the poster and the bold statements are at the top of the poster. Therefore, the context in which these things are presented makes it easier for the information to be accepted.