Have you ever noticed that the news always has the strangest pictures whenever there’s a “scandal”?
People love to talk about political slant and agenda but one of the more subtle ways of slanting a news story is actually through images - especially of faces. Your brain processes the face - especially the eyes - quite quickly. That’s an adaptation passed down to basically all mammals. What often goes overlooked is how the picture affects your feelings about the news itself.
If you want to do something that is a bit of a trip, take a political news program that you’ve never watched before and record it. Then play it back without video. Pay extra attention to the music that they choose. The inflection of the voice. It all adds up to a pretty mesmerizing piece of media on it’s own. Now go back and watch the video. Look at the colors - the reds (which are mean’t to grab your attention) and the faces - stop the DVR on the faces. Ask yourself - if I were a news producer and I chose this photo - what was going through my mind?
It’s amazing what you can miss while you’re concentrating - especially when you have or have been given a preconceived (like a headline) to focus on. Look no further than the Monkey Business Illusion to demonstrate how badly we are at picking up seemingly obvious details. It’s no wonder that the media can always pull one over on the public.
Faces matter. Whether you actively notice them or not - your brain does that processing. You’d be surprised how much processing your brain does - and how fast it does it - with eyes alone. In fact, you test it by taking the Social Intelligence Test which shows you a set of eyes and asks you to pick the emotion.
In short - whether it’s articles about Clarkson, Trump, or your local windbag, be skeptical and don’t forget that your agenda isn’t the only one on display when it comes to ingesting the media.