Which is the most effective at informing its audience about the dangers of Ecstasy? The film ‘Sorted’ was made following the death of an 18-year-old girl, who allegedly died after taking Ecstasy. I will be comparing this video with ‘Risk in Perspective’ an article about Ecstasy recently written by Nicholas Saunders. The reliability, and purpose of each piece will be considered. I will also evaluate their effectiveness in informing their audience about the dangers of Ecstasy.
‘Sorted’ shows how Leah Betts died after taking one Ecstasy and how it can kill you. The video creates an emotive environment. This disturbing reconstruction of Leah’s death is the key part of the anti-Ecstasy campaign. Risk in perspective has got a lot of content to it. Nicholas also comments on the video sorted, highlighting “the media preferred to keep the message simple: Leah died from taking a single tab of Ecstasy, to say she died from drinking water in not a good story”.
His text is also furnished with information and facts, about other risks and dangers. The title ‘Sorted, just one Ecstasy tablet killed Leah Betts’ make’s people think that ecstasy can kill even before they watch it, it is put in their mind that Ecstasy kills. Biased stories are misleading and bad, this is probably what Nicholas means by his, title ‘Risk in perspective’. This is the best title Nicholas could have used, as that is what he is trying to say throughout his article.
The medium used for ‘Sorted’ is film, film may be most obtainable and widely spread medium at present, but it does not mean it is more effective in informing the audience. On TV there are mostly fictions stories shown, and without any facts Leah Betts story sounds like another drama on television. Text is the medium used to educate people, and that’s what Nicholas used to inform people about Ecstasy. They used film, as their medium because I believe that was the best way to show emotions.
On the other hand Nicholas Saunders wanted to prove the media (‘Sorted’) unreliable and he used text, probably because this is the only medium that he could use effectively. To ensure peoples sympathy emotional language is used throughout the video, one example is when friends and family describe Leah, saying, “she was a lovely daughter”, and friends say “kind, loving, bossy at times, going out… ” It also shows old home video footages of Leah’s birthday. Nicholas’ text is straightforward, probably because it is aimed at younger audience.
This is throughout the article for E. g. “However, water can be harmful if you drink more than you can get rid of by sweating or pissing. ” Nicholas Saunders’ article sounds like an educational piece whereas the video sets up a very depressing and heartbreaking atmosphere. “It may then dilute your blood, and diluted blood causes tissue to swell, but the brain cannot swell inside the skull and the pressure can build up to a dangerous level. ” Similarly many other arguments are informative. Nicholas’ text is furnished with facts opposed to ‘Sorted.
Just one Ecstasy table killed Leah Betts’, which is just another story. Nicholas tells us about dangers, “Drinking too much water is reported to have killed three people so far, all in the past year… over heating is the main danger of taking Ecstasy”, To back up his arguments he uses scientific facts, government statistics, compares Ecstasy with other dangerous sports and alcohol. This makes Saunders article more authentic and therefore more powerful and as a result more effective in informing people about Ecstasy.
I believe there was only one motive after producing ‘Sorted’ which was to illustrate to people how bad and lethal ecstasy is. The media also made sure that, they got their message across to their audience, by making a film critical of Ecstasy, which was full of biased remarks and in the film they only highlighted the audience unpleasant details concerning to Ecstasy. The video’s message is clear, Ecstasy kills. It also successfully makes viewers feel pathetic for Leah Betts’ family and friends.
Nicholas Saunders is attempting to prove that media is biased and unreliable. In order to do this he gives us the example of Leah. Another purpose behind Nicholas’ article maybe that he wanted to teach people about Ecstasy. Nicholas’ message might be that do not make decisions based on one side of story. For example, if I tell you, I saw a man who threw this women on floor and started jumping on her, is one story, but if I tell you the women’s clothes were on fire and he was trying to extinguish it, is other side of the story.
Although after watching the video I thought, people who want to commit suicide should take Ecstasy, but after reading Nicholas Saunders’s article I feel Ecstasy might not be very dangerous. As his information, backed-up by facts, reader is bound to believe what he is saying. He tells us exactly from whose report he is quoting “whose president (professor Turnberg) was quoted in The Times:” or what statistics he has used “(Source: Government statistics in OPCS Monitor DH4 92/4). ”
The documentary ‘Sorted’ is totally against the drug, while Nicholas sounds as if he is promoting Ecstasy in his article. Nicholas Saunders tells his readers everything he knows. I think people have the right to know the full story, and the entire truth should always be revealed, so people make fair decisions. Ecstasy and other illegal drugs are often shown very dangerous probably because, the government does not get any tax from and it creates a bad image for them through censorship.
The censorship department should be an independent department so they work independently of government. So biased censorship is wrong as it makes things more complicated and usually people make wrong decisions. The same thing happened when the public got the wrong information about Leah Betts’s death. Seeing that Nicholas does not tell his readers to do this or that, he only provides his readers several convenient facts concerning Ecstasy and allows the readers to make their own decisions.
I conclude that Nicholas Saunders’ article is more effective at informing its audience the accurate dangers of Ecstasy since the information is backed up with facts and government statistics. ‘Sorted’ might make people turn against Ecstasy but it is not telling the audience the correct dangers of Ecstasy and the possibility of the consequences show on the video are very low. The facts put forward by Nicholas Saunders were really helpful as I learnt a lot from his article about the Ecstasy. If I had never read Nicholas Saunders’ article I would have had wrong thoughts about Ecstasy because of ‘Sorted’.
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