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Home Entertainment "Live images are overwhelmed by emotion," says researcher Arnaud Mercier

"Live images are overwhelmed by emotion," says researcher Arnaud Mercier

Yellow Vests Act 9: Gathering Yellow Vests, Place Seraucourt, Bourges, Cher, France, January 12, 2019. – NICOLAS MESSYASZ / SIPA

  • Faced with distrust of traditional media, "yellow vests" have favored since the beginning of the movement of live video.
  • Are these live videos more honest than the stories on TV news?
  • Response with researcher Arnaud Mercier, professor of information and communication sciences at Paris II Pantheon-Assas University.

Among the least hated media of "yellow vests", Brut and the journalist
Rémy Buisine,
Vincent Lapierre, a journalist close to Dieudonné, or Russia Today France, a channel coming from Russia and directly financed by the Kremlin. And it is not a hazard. Faced with mistrust of traditional media, "yellow vests" have favored from the beginning of the movement of live videos, filmed with the smartphone, more authentic and reliable, according to them, than the images, often mounted, of the media traditional. Are these live videos more honest than the stories on TV news? The analysis of
Arnaud Mercier, professor of information sciences and communication at Paris II Panthéon-Assas University, who led
#Info Comment and share news on Facebook and Twitter (Editions of the House of the sciences of the man, 26 euros)

Why the "yellow vests" appreciate so much these videos in live stream ?

This is explained by the old fantasy that live footage is not manipulated. There is no editing, so the pictures are true. There is the belief in the testimony-image, in raw format, impossible to manipulate. On television, for questions of format, the images are necessarily mounted and result from a choice, a selection, so there is suspicion of manipulation.

Is the direct video filmed on the smartphone totally objective?

It's a naive vision. From the moment when there is framing, there is a choice, that of the place where we place to film, it induces a certain perception of things. For example, if I film a demonstration in the middle of the demonstrators, I will give the impression that the crowd is dense, if I film this same manifestation from the top of a roof, the crowd will appear less dense. If I shoot live images on the side of the police or if I shoot live images on the side of the demonstrators, I will favor the point of view, so the identification either with the forces of the order, or with the demonstrators. Live and continuous shooting is no more objective than mounted images.

The editing allows you to show different points of view …

We must not oppose live mounting. It is possible to make a live in which we change our point of view. The editing allows to condense, but also to take a step back from the filmed images. This time of hindsight is very important. When I film live, without controlling the images that scroll on the air, it induces perceptions. There may be, for example, an irrational crowd movement linked to a rumor at an instant T. These images shown live will give credence to the rumor. We will learn later that it was nothing and these images will be cut for editing. What we live live is the moment, it is not necessarily the truth. Images liveis to be overwhelmed by emotion.

Did traditional television channels not neglect live?

There are two kinds of direct, the direct on the board, very used by the news channels continuously, and the direct on the field. The latter has a cost, it requires teams on site and significant resources. This brakes the television crews. While to make a live stream, just a smartphone and a pole. Continuous news channels do not want to totally let the viewer get overwhelmed by emotion and pretend to put them in perspective with guests who comment and analyze on set. It's an editorial choice.

Many "yellow vests" improvise reporter …

We also saw a lot of live Facebook, Periscope and YouTube channels at Nuit Debout. Many movements are willing to launch their own alternative media by moving away from traditional media with the use of live video. The citizen and amateur journalist films in a communitarian logic according to his peregrinations. It lets viewers see and hear what they want to see and hear and speaks to people who think the same thing as him, who shares his point of view. This media is satisfied. Some believe that there is a danger in listening to a dissonant or contradictory point of view. One of these live videos, available on the Facebook group of "yellow vests" Cher me a lot. We see "yellow vests" exfiltrate journalists from BFM TV during a demonstration. The young cameraman comments: "We turn the liars" and adds "look, this is done without violence", without realizing the violence that represents, in a democratic system, prohibiting filming an event to journalists. We must distinguish physical violence from political and symbolic violence!


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