Nature of the Representation of Death on Television

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An Analysis of Death and Television This paper will discuss the nature of the representation of death on television as portrayed in news shows, dramas, and cartoons. Since death serves as a common theme on television programming, viewers are familiarized with death to such an extent that the subject of death almost becomes absurd, extreme, embellished, and ultimately inconsequential. This conclusion comes after viewing an hour of Fox News coverage on the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stephens, an hour of the drama Seven shown on cable television, and an hour of the adult-cartoon series South Park on Comedy Central. In each of the shows, death is portrayed with a sense of extreme melodrama and tragedy, sinister calculation and sadism, or ridiculous sensationalism and even (as in the case of the cartoon) absolute irreverence. The network news station Fox News portrayed the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stephens as a tragedy that might have been avoided. It spent a good deal of time discussing political issues that might have contributed to his death. Although others were killed along with Stephens, he received the primary amount of focus, since he was in the highest position of authority among those killed. Many pictures of him were displayed and it was obvious that the viewer was supposed to feel a great deal of sympathy and sadness. The news anchors described in as much detail as possible the death of the Ambassador and showed many pictures of angry,
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