Friday, June 14, 2013

How an Unexplained Event Can Evolve into a Myth

This is a first attempt to analyze how an event can be transformed into news story and then, on into a fictionalized narrative.

This is a simplified generic profile, but I welcome any input on corrections and ommissions.

How an Unexplained Event Can Evolve into a Myth

EVENT: Partial Information
from Aftermath, Witnesses, Official Report etc.

Media Coverage:
Seeks to fill information void with comments from:
Witnesss (and their associates)
Investigators or Officials

Official Investigation:
Information is gathered, theories and suspects are considered.

Confusing or Mistaken details enter the narrative.

Speculative comments begin being repeated, creating a feedback loop of corrupted data.

Attempt at Event Reconstruction:
Speculative Narrative is created, sometimes with Artwork,

Officials cannot match public's appetite for details.

Public circulation of tales mixing fact and fiction.

Media dramatization of case continues, may be linked to emotional, cultural or political hot-button issues.

Officials may repeat details of Media coverage in reports, making them "official". While trying to squash rumors, may feed them.

Public memory fades or just remembers sensationalized elements.

Media may tire of case before Official investigation complete.

No Official Explanation.

Public "knows" what really happened, but is lied to by the Officals and the Media.

Media Response:
Accusations of Official Incompetence or Cover-Up.

Official Explanation:
If it comes, always less dramatic than the Media coverage.

Fable, Parable or Myth is born. Fictionalized story, often with large doses of injustice and paranoia.

In case this does not format properly or is difficult to view, see the original at:
How an Unexplained Event Can Evolve into a Myth

I put this together after failing to find anything that quite dealt with the concepts I was examining. The closest thing I've read on it it Flat Earth News by Nick Davies. Any reccomendations on further reading are welcome.

1 comment:

  1. From nablator via
    "Additionnally the story is retold by witnesses (adding false memories), rewritten by the press, summarized by book authors who keep only the least confusing parts (often dropping vital clues and adding embellishments).

    Finally, an army of copy-paste artists attempts to preserve the most fictionalized version (therefore the best) on many web sites."