Hypodermic Needle Theory
Glenn Beck and Fear Mongering
Glenn Beck and Fear Mongering
When looking at the Hypodermic Needle Theory, the media are often responsible for what are called "moral panics".
The premise of these, much like with the Hypodermic Needle Theory, is that the media takes a very simplistic approach to a very complicated topic.
When a tragedy happens, like the Columbine High School Massacre for example, the media can often be very quick to point the finger at a singular cause. As detailed in the PowerPoint to the right, entitled "Media Influence Introduction", the musician Marilyn Manson was blamed extensively for the Columbine High School Massacre.
This fear mongering, rather than delving deeper into a complex issue, creates fear and deals in misinformation. It is often done so effectively that many audiences will blindly believe it as face.
This is the basis for the Glenn Beck clip above. As an introduction for his 9/12 Project, a highly emotive, fear mongering clip is played that gives the impression of the United States being on the brink of destruction. The clip is produced so effectively though that it appeals to its chosen audience, generating fear, using carefully chosen imagery and a well written voiceover to point the finger at a lot of vague reasons for the country being on the brink without being specific enough that it could be called lying.
The intention though, is disingenuous.
Using the above Glenn Beck clip as a guide, you are going to create your own 3 minute clip about Australia. The intention for your clip is the same: you are going to source videos and photos from online,(looking for TV news stories on YouTube is a good place to start) write your own narration, source your own royalty free music and create a "moral panic" fear mongering clip to give the impression that Australia is in serious trouble. At the end you will provide information about a new "project" or "initiative", like Glenn Beck's 9/12 Project, that is going to be the saviour from the disastrous state Australia is in.
Due Date: Friday, 24th March, 2017
As you're planning your video, you should consider doing the following steps and keeping in mind the information:
1. Watch the Glenn Beck clip above again and write a dot point list of each of the topics he refers to from start to finish, e.g. pirates, kidnappings, the forgotten man, etc. Count how many different topics you have on your list. Aim to have roughly the same amount of topics in your film too. Your film shouldn't just be about one topic, but many.
2. All of the topics you refer to in your film should be about/related to Australia.
3. All of your topics should be true. You can't make up things that never happened.
4. You may, however, wish to present topics vaguely, or in a particular light, to make them sound worse, or suit the tone of your video. e.g. you might have a clip from a news story showing police carrying guns outside regular looking homes with a voiceover that says "Terror in our streets". Whilst there have been a number of raids, your job as an editor and writer, is to make it sound worse than it is.
5. It may take you a while to find your footage. To find footage of particular things that you want, you may have to keep changing your search terms to locate exactly what you're looking for.
For example, to find footage of Australian police in combat gear holding guns and arresting someone at a home, I went to YouTube and searched for:
1. news story terrorist plot melbourne
2. news story terrorist raids melbourne
3. news story terrorist raids
4. news story terrorist raids melbourne sydney
Finally, after my fourth search and tweaking my search term keywords, I found some footage I could use...which was this clip: YouTube Clip: Police Arrest Suspect
6. Because you're basically making a "fear mongering" kind of video, the overall tone of your video will be negative. All of the stories or "facts" that you present should have negative connotations, or be controversial. There may very well be plenty of people who have positive, or less negative, views on particular topics, but your job is to focus on the outrage, the fear, the side of the argument that the angry people are on.
7. Possible topics may include: refugees, terrorists, refugees as terrorists, terrorists that pretend to be refugees and then come to Australia and are terrorists, the homeless camps in the CBD of Melbourne, slumping value of Australian dollar, rising petrol prices, unemployment, violence in the streets (fights outside nightclubs, aggressive Metro tram conductors, etc.) celebrity scandals, social media outrages about various things, etc.
8 Your final clip is just the montage type video of the Glenn Beck clip. You don't have to someone talking to camera at the end like the Glenn Beck one does. That's just to give you context.
9. You ARE providing a positive project or solution though, so you might have a title slide at the end giving details of what that is. For the Glenn Beck clip, he's creating the 9/12 Project, with the intention of getting back to the values and patriotism America had after 9/11 (whatever that looks like).
So your clip should provide a similar, although probably vague, way of making Australia better after your clip has highlighted how disastrous everything is.