Essay: Kid Can Paint That Media and Perception

Pages: 3 (942 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Communication - Journalism  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … Kid Can Paint That

Media and Perception: The Question of Authenticity in Bar-Lev's

My Kid Could Paint That

The role of the mass media in the creation of public perception is a matter of near constant controversy, and has been ever since the concept of mass media first came to be a part of civilization. The printing press was actually objected to by many specifically because it would allow for the dissemination of views that they did not approve of, with the belief (correctly held) that such dissemination would necessarily produce more like-minded thinkers. The technologies of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have made mass media much more present in the daily workings of our lives, with the television, radio, and internet all providing access to the font of the world's information and events. What these outlets choose to tell us -- and not tell us -- can have a huge impact not only on what we know about the world we inhabit, but also on how we think about it and interact with it. Such issues are rarely as clear-cut as they might seem either, and the question of responsibility in journalism has never been more pressing.

One excellent case that represents the difficulties (though not the necessities, to any hugely practical degree) of navigating a compelling story through the narrow channels of journalistic integrity is the story of possible child-prodigy painter Marla as told in Amir Bar-Lev's documentary film My Kid Could Paint That. Though ostensibly about the controversy surrounding this little girl's painting abilities, or the authenticity of her works, the film is perhaps more easily read as a commentary on the effects of media. It is the various incarnations of the media that shape the real story of My Kid Could Paint That, and their irresponsibility is also the only reason that Marla and her paintings ever became any sort of story in the first place.

The first media figure to have exert influence over Marla's life and story was Elizabeth Cohen. Cohen was only writing a local human-interest piece and had no way to predict the size that the story would become, or the scandal that would ensue. Still, this shows the importance of responsibly checking the facts of every story, no matter how much of a fluff piece it might at first seem. Had Cohen not written her article, it is possible -- likely, even, unless Marla's parent were even more ambitious concerning their daughter than is currently thought -- that Marla's painting would never have gathered any real attention. Cohen needed to do a little digging and ascertain from the outset whether or not Marla was actually painting the works attributed to her, and the level of coaching and prompting she received if she was indeed the artist. Her failure to take… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Kid Can Paint That Media and Perception.  (2009, May 5).  Retrieved October 24, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Kid Can Paint That Media and Perception."  5 May 2009.  Web.  24 October 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Kid Can Paint That Media and Perception."  May 5, 2009.  Accessed October 24, 2019.