The Susan Boyle “Story”

Susan Boyle’s amazing popular YouTube video is without a doubt an entertaining documentation of her performance.  However, Gary Stein points out a few obvious journalistic “don’ts” in his article on viral videos.  The main problem is that the video is constructed to lead the viewer along a set path and then surprise him.  Stein’s so-called elephant music is clear example of how the editor designed the video with the goal of a twist rather than the goal of truth.   The viewer is led to think that she is going to be an utter failure.  Yet, it is clear that the producers of the show knew that she had an incredible voice that would undoubtedly surprise the audience and judges.

By setting the viewer up to be fooled, this video abandons journalistic standards of ethics in favor of  challenging preconceived notions and the entertainment value of surprise.


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