Messenger as Message


Who brings the message bears the message. On the shoulders of the person who delivers a message we place a keen sense of perspective. Do we believe this person’s claim? How does what this one person says relate to what we already believe? While we may assume we greet new information with objective curiosity, we respond with far my subjective consideration that we care to admit.

Is it a means of protection that we disregard figures who challenge our sense of norms? If a speaker dresses unusually or a writer loads his text with profanity is an added level of scrutiny warranted? In judging a source of info we unfairly impose judgment on the information provided by a source. Information cannot be purely objective but the unique qualities of the source that provides us with information too often cloud our interpretation. Data is data.

Two recent stories showcase how a source of information influences our interpretation. In both the Kony 2012 and Mike Davies incidents we see the speaker’s actions determining public reaction. Both cases show how a speaker’s behavior can dramatically affect the information a source provides. With the (potential) downfall of both speakers the information sinks with the ship, advocates must bear in mind that they carry their message with their reputation and, once tarnished, unfairly risk public response.

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  1. March 26, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Amazing post and very interesting stuff you got here! I definitely learned a lot from reading through some of your earlier posts as well and decided to drop a comment on this one!

    Like

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