Recently there has been a lot of coverage in the media on missing Madeleine McCann.
Initially, there was a massive international manhunt and lots of coverage on all types of media (newspapers, television, radio, internet etc). Everyone was backing the McCanns in the search for their daughter, including a number of famous celebrities such as David Beckham and J.K. Rowling.
However, over the past couple of weeks the Portugese police have turned their attention to the McCanns and have made them suspects in the disappearance of their daughter.
My aim here isn’t to discuss the innocence or guilt of Madeleine’s parents. I’m sure there will be plenty of focus on this in the upcoming weeks and months.
My focus is on the McCanns persona. Within the Identity world there is a lot of talk about a person’s persona and how different personas are portrayed to different groups of people. For example, my work persona is quite different from my home persona. However, the recent events with the McCanns goes to prove that we only have so much control over our persona and how we are portrayed to different people. Alot of this influence comes from the media. In the past week I have seen how the British people have slowly started turning against Madeleine’s parents through no direct actions of the McCanns. It is all based on speculation in the media.
So, whilst the McCanns have not changed their public facing persona towards the world, the influence of the media means that people are viewing them very differently than before.
The McCanns are by no means the only example of this. There are examples (mainly celebrities) of this happening time and time again.
It reminds me of the James Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies, where the media mogul is trying to control people’s reaction by controlling the information that is provided to them through the media.
I do find it quite disconcerting that the media can have such power of people’s lives.
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