Speaking In Sound Bytes

You know I’d never realized just how much political speeches have evolved into sound byte releases until last week. I mean I knew, we all know, but seeing it behind the scenes was something else.

What am I talking about? Well recently I attended a private media release for the announcement of Channel 7’s move to Redfern, and center stage was the New South Wales premier, Moris Iemma, and the Planning Minister, Frank Sartor. I won’t digress as to why I was there, I don’t like to blog about my employers. But I will say it was fascinating to watch how the speeches were tailored specifically to aid sound byte capture.

The same catch phrases and key words were repeated over and over in multiple ways, presumably to ensure (1) that the media editors could get the best take, (2) to ensure the media got the message of what they wanted the primary message to be and (3) to limit media opportunities for taking their words out of context. They were speeches designed for sampling, not flow; for processing, not raw human consumption.

It makes me reflect once more how sampling is effecting communication, both for better and for worse.

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