The comfort of mediated media*

…so the director asked me for my opinions on the 1st assembly of his documentary.

It was scary. Why? Because it was a documentary on the adventures of an English brain surgeon’s mission to the Ukraine. Not too worrying in of itself. But as this wasn’t appearing on TV or at a film festival yet, it was unmediated. Standards and practices hadn’t approved it. That meant that anyone being operated on could die. That meant that there could be any number of gory shots of surgery – without any sort of warning.

The worst shot I witnessed was the point where a serrated thread was being used to saw through a man’s skull. The surgeon moved the metal band back and forward – it was covered in blood. Just the sort of thing you don’t want to switch over to when flipping channels.

This meant an exciting watch for me, but helped me realise how comforting mediated media is. I feel safer if someone has checked what I’m going to watch. That could be a TV station or a festival programmer. That’s why classification of content is a good idea. I don’t want content censored, I’d just like to have a good idea of what I’m in for.

Who will you turn to on the internet to mediate your media?

*Mediated – connected indirectly through another person or thing; involving an intermediate agency


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