“News Machine” Illustrates the Effects of Media Distortion

Alessia Andreotti
June 25th 2013

The News Machine is a contraption that explains the news distortion that happens when a message is broadcast through different media. The starting point is a tweet sent from a tablet, then the 140 character sentence is echoed through different media filters and into print. The transmission alters the original tweet slightly through slight mistranslations between the filters. The final result is a twisted version of the original source.

The News Machine is made from wires that connect old and new media. The device consists of a megaphone, a tape recorder, a television, a video recorder, a radio antenna and a miniature printer. It all started with the game of Chinese Whispers. This machine is a modern and broader application of a very old fashioned game, this time played by electronic devices.

This artistic experiment by Colors Magazine, realized in collaboration with Canadian designer Jonathan Chomko, is very of-the-moment. It highlights some of the issues in contemporary news media, such as technology, bias, and miscommunication. Social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, are becoming part of the traditional communication mass media, sometimes with unexpected effects. The News Machine represents an allegorical system of transmission and interpretation of the news creation process that invites people to reflect on what it means to "break the news" nowadays.

Everyone can tweet his story to @colorsmachine and watch the message change after the News Machine process. The outcomes can be hilarious.

Curious to see the News Machine in action?


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