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Kenji Ko


Nowadays Internet users are able to upload or publish any information to the Internet through blogs, wikis, forums, social sites, youtube etc. without necessarily hosting a webpage. This participatory culture ends up making people doubt how faithful the online information is. However, before the internet there were also scandals such as fake news, covered up news, cropped images, journalists asking misleading questions etc. Traditional media has become more gossipy and dramatic; news is as “entertaining“ as soap, to keep audiences reading or watching. They present “olds”, not “news”. This has been affected by the “new” media, the internet.

On 9 April 2008, a distinguished CNN political commentator, Jack Cafferty, made a comment about the relationship between the United States and China on the programme, The Situation Room. He stated: “… I think our relationship with China has certainly changed, I think they’re basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they’ve been for the last 50 years.” This dramatic and exaggerated comment appeared on a mass medium. This fits Cafferty’s style, which consists of an attention grabbing commentary on the political news of the day. Since January 2009, I started writing Cafferty a letter every day, trying to convince him to re-address his comment on the anniversary of its broadcast. I recorded the same programme one year later. I’ve uploaded both videos to youtube. My final piece is an interactive installation that reflects my research question about the reliability and quality of the information from the traditional mass media. It interacts with my audiences and my youtube videos in real time. By using new media as its medium, it is basically a parody of the fact that the general public nowadays cannot indeed get the truth from traditional media. Information is transferred in one direction, and the general public are passively receiving that information. The validity of the information is controlled by the media itself.


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