Prossimità mediate: distanza e responsabilità nella sfera mediale
| STUDI DI SOCIOLOGIA - 2012 - 4
A. MANZATO, Mediated proximities: distance and responsibility in the media sphere
In a more and more globalized world, our relationship with distant others is particularly guaranteed
by media. More specifically, media are the devices through which we connect with images
and narrations of distant suffering. In this context, the question arises of how to react properly
to the suffering, thus approaching a moral dimension in media production and consumption.
The article draws in the first instance from Roger Silverstone’s latest work, Media and morality,
discussing how the space of appearance developed by media, the mediapolis, allows dialogue
and care for the distant other. A proper distance in representation is required, which does not
neutralize difference, nor makes it totally untouchable. Mediapolis has to be the space of hospitality
Images of suffering, in a moral dimension, must involve a disposition to action that overcomes
emotions through an «acting word». In this sense, the risk of «compassion fatigue» and of
discursive strategies of denial has to be replaced by a personal responsibility as media producers,
audiences and citizens.
Key words: mediapolis, moral dimension in the media, proper distance, spectacle of suffering,