The Justice Game
To what extent has textual form shaped your understanding of conflicting perspectives? In your response, make detailed reference to your prescribed text and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing. Representations of divergent viewpoints using different textual forms leads to a greater understanding of conflicting perspectives and the multi-layered nature of complicated issues. By comparing conflicting perspectives, we come to understand the complexity of a certain issue and also that despite the textual form, a text’s purpose is to promote the composer’s perspective.
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This has been achieved through my study of Geoffrey Robertson’s 1998 memoir The Justice Game, which discourages involving emotion in the Justice system and suggests that the current system is effective, the conflicting 2013 7. 30 Report episode “Jill Masher’s husband calls her killer’s sentence a disgrace” which uses emotion to communicate the flaws in the justice system. , and the Michael Lending 2013 cartoon Julian Ganges from The Age, which supports Robertson’s view that the courtroom must be impartial and not biased by personal emotion.
In the chapter “Afterward” in The Justice Game, Robertson enforces the importance of excluding emotion and personal opinion from the courtroom. Robertson’s perspective of the Justice system is that “Justice’ is not a result conforming to popular expectation”, but is rather “an objective Judgment”. The audience is positioned to accept his opinion because of the use of non-fiction memoir as the textual form. Non- fiction is perceived as fact or truth, hence the audience is positioned to view his opinion as truth.
The medium of production adds to his credibility because rotationally, print is also perceived as a reliable source as it has been repeatedly edited and scrutinized, again giving credibility to Robertson’s view that the Justice system should be objective. In “Diana on the Dock”, the inclusion of “l was the author of a textbook” apprises to the audience that he is intelligent and qualified because a textbook is seen as being written by an expert in their field. In contrast to Robertson favoring objectivity in the Justice system, the 7. 30 Report presents a highly emotional perspective on the system.
The interview is with Tom Meager, husband of rape and murder victim Jill Meager, to discuss the sentencing of Sill’s attacker, Adrian Bailey, and his opinion of the Justice system. The focus is on the emotional effects of Sill’s murder on Tom, in stark contrast to Robertson’s view that emotion should be excluded from the Justice system. The presenters introduction “Baileys crimes have had profound and terrible effects on many, many lives” uses highly emotive language and repetition of “many’ to emphasis the devastating emotional consequences of murder, thus the audience takes an opinion of the case eased on emotion.
When asked about what sort of person Jill was, a close up of Tom’s answer, such as “you would have met… Sorry, sorry’ and “um, she was the… Um, she just brightened up any room” further highlight his pain. Photographs of Jill smiling fade in and out of the screen, such as her with family and at a fancy dress party, and the Juxtaposition of the happy, fun photographs with Tom Masher’s current suffering position the audience to feel disgust towards Bailey as we witness the harsh effects of his crimes. Therefore, the BBC goes against Robertson’s view and rings emotion into the issue of what the punishment should be for a rapist and murderer.
Despite the difference in textual form, BBC uses textual form to position the audience to accept the emotional perspective by including this interview in their prime-time slot, suggesting that it is highly important because it is during one of the most viewed times. The presenter also gives credibility to the reporter by including “Our reporter, Louise Mulligan, covered the murder and the trial”, suggesting that Mulligan is knowledgeable and a reliable source as she knows this case. The different actual forms used by Robertson and the 7. 0 Report give rise to extremely different representations on whether emotion should be involved in the Justice system, revealing the complex nature of the issue. In contrast to the view presented by the 7. 30 Report, Leaning’s cartoon from The Age, Julian Ganges, supports Robertson’s view by suggesting that when the Justice system tries to protect one party, it fails. The cartoon reflects Leanings view that the government is doing harm to the Justice system by trying to protect themselves against Julian Ganges, who exposed their war crimes.
The irony of the two pictures of Julian Ganges being identical, despite one saying “Wanted” and the other “Needed”, suggests that the Justice system is incorrect in punishing Ganges, as his exposure of criminal activity maintains fairness in the Justice system. Lending creates a somber tone when describing the government “deceive the world about their dark crusade” through the gloomy imagery “dark crusade” and the word choice of “deceive”, something sneaky and unfair, thus positioning the audience to take Gangue’s side and be against the government’s abuse of power, enabled by the justice system.
The cartoon, the chapters of The Justice Game and the Tom Meager interview all focus on completely different issues, yet present overall conclusions that either support each other of conflict on whether the Justice system should remain impartial or use emotion to favor one particular side, revealing the complexity and vastness of complicated issues. Overall, different composers have used different textual forms, thus different techniques, to shape my understanding of how conflicting perspectives are represented, and the multi-layered nature of complex issues.