The logic of sensorial effectiveness. Amateur videos, media witnessing, global crisis news

by Lucio Spaziante

in Versus n. 124, Sensorial Effectiveness. Sensoriality, immediacy, and presence in audiovisual media, pp.17-40

Abstract (english)

In cases of global crisis (e.g. terrorism), a mass of amateur audiovisual materials is usually produced. The news system adopts advanced strategies incorporating those eyewitness videos, thanks to their potential in terms of authenticity and witnessing. This paper put to question the real information values of those videos, focusing on their effects of reality and their subjectivizing experiential effects, describing a sort of an amateur aesthetics of crisis, as well as a logic of sensorial effectiveness. The massive recourse to amateur images raises however wider-scoped questions linked to a discussion on the ethics of eyewitness images and of media witnessing.