Friday, April 27, 2012

representation of street kids

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Discuss the ways in which street kids are represented in the texts “ kids on the rampage” and “father Riley”. Include in your discussion the way in which tests can influence your understanding and appreciation of the issues in either text.


The feature current affairs stories “ Kids on the rampage” and “Father Riley” both represent street kids through the selection of television codes and elements, as well as the main storyline. The way the kids are depicted, however, are in two completely different ways. The kids in “Kids on the rampage” are depicted as rude, disrespectful and a menace to communities. The kids on “Father Riley” are represented as good country kids, who have just had a bad past life, trying to be back on the right track. The now country kids, who were once drug using, smoking and abusive street kids are viewed by the audience as decent hard- working kids and the street kids of the city have been represented as menacing out of control brats. The image the kids bring with them is also reflected on their living areas; the country kids make the country look like a peaceful and harm free community, and the city kids present our cities as violence filled and unsafe.


The street kids in “Kids on the rampage” were depicted as bad and community disrupting from the choice of footage and language used to represent them. The presenter used very strong wordings of offensive descriptions towards the kids, which influences the decision of the audience. To further support the stories side against these kids, they show them destroying the camera of one of their crewmembers, and kicking him. This footage is shown over and over to keep the acts of the kids in the audience’s mind. Footage of the rental home they occupied is shown, to further highlight the destructiveness of the street kids. The rental owner tells the reporter her story of how they trashed the home, and had not even payed the last one and a half years of rent. She looked angry and distraught as the camera captures her reactions to seeing the house the way it is. The house is full of “dishes with rotting dishes” and syringes in the couches, with graffiti on all the walls. There is no room to move on the floor pilled with rubbish and obscure objects. The audience supports the lady, and feels for her when they see how upset and angry she is and further condemn the kids. There is a lot of angry rock music playing in the background of the story, which reflects on the kids’ behaviour.


The Message conveyed through the story is that our cities are becoming filled with menacing, and destructing kids who use drugs and have no respect for our communities. The kids are implied to be dangerous and very unfriendly towards members of society. The story creates strong views in the audience to fight against street kids, and to remove street kids like this from our community will make it safe and happy for everyone.


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The kids in “Father Riley” however are presented as good kids, who have just needed some help to get them of the streets. The presenter had a one on one conversation with the kids, who seemed more than happy to have his company. They could express their saddening stories to the camera, and the audience sympathised with them. They were under supervision of Father Riley who, being a Christian priest, is respected well by our society. The priest who says they have “more courage than any other kids” graces them with lots of complementing encouragement. The views of the country seem peaceful, showing the lush green land with the donated cattle which the kids are working hard to muster. The kids appear to be very hard working, and the audience respects that. The audience also respects the way they are turning over a new leaf to make a new life for themselves. The music is happy and bouncy, creating a very pleasant and more accepting atmosphere to the angry music played in “kids on the rampage”. The priest tells how he has had to “bury three of his kids” and the audience feels very sorry and supporting towards the other kids. They are “learning how to do things for one another” and the audience realises that it was their own choice to start a new life, and it was their own determination, with the support of Father Riley, that got them there.


Instead of the audience seeing the street kids as bad and community ruining, as in “kids on the rampage” they see Father Riley’s kids as kids who are very decent and genuine who are willing to get back on the right track with some help from our community. However it is portraying or city as street kids yielding, and unhelping towards these kids who need help. Audiences see the country as a loving and supporting country whom are willing to help these kids, unlike our cities.


The way that each of the stories “Kids on the rampage” and “Father Riley” convey their messages and issues is through the use of television elements such as tone and language choice, footage choice and music. These Television elements can create a very strong view which depending on the effectiveness of the way it is put across can have a great impact on audiences. It can cause audiences to have that same opinion on the issues presented, and support or dislike certain people, groups, occupations and acts, or places that appear in the story.





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