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I don't like Anne Thompson's wording of this...

Patty
Immortal


Jul 13 2007, 3:34pm

Post #1 of 14 (224 views)
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I don't like Anne Thompson's wording of this... Can't Post

but maybe I'm being overly sensitive.

It's an article about celebs going directly on-line to their fans/audience..

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117968422.html?categoryId=2508&cs=1

"Director Peter Jackson also pioneered bringing people into the "Lord of the Rings" universe through TheOneRing.net. Later, KongisKing.net featured a detailed video production diary. When Jackson's "The Hobbit" negotiations with New Line Cinema's Robert Shaye broke down last November, Jackson and partner Fran Walsh were able to get their spin on the record first by posting a strongly worded statement on TheOneRing."





Riding with the Rohirrim!


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jul 13 2007, 4:07pm

Post #2 of 14 (137 views)
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"Spin"? [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't feel like I was being spun. I felt like someone who KNEW I'd care about the project and what was going on would want to be shown the respect and courtesy of being informed.

The "spin" that came later by NL was in the form of a tantrum and name-calling.

I think Anne needs a bit of schooling on this.


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(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Jul 13 2007, 4:08pm)


Patty
Immortal


Jul 13 2007, 4:12pm

Post #3 of 14 (127 views)
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Exactly. [In reply to] Can't Post

But Anne, Hollywood columnist that she is, probably is trying to give credence points to New Line.

Riding with the Rohirrim!


Idril Celebrindal
Tol Eressea


Jul 13 2007, 5:09pm

Post #4 of 14 (123 views)
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If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail [In reply to] Can't Post

If the only thing you write is spin, everything looks like spin.

PJ's and Fran's statement is certainly written from their point of view, but it didn't sound like spin to me -- more like a statement of their position.

With caffeine, all things are possible.

The pity of Bilbo will screw up the fate of many.

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Patty
Immortal


Jul 13 2007, 5:25pm

Post #5 of 14 (109 views)
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I'm going to have to use that, Idril... [In reply to] Can't Post

and I think you well described what Fran and PJ stated.

Riding with the Rohirrim!


squire
Valinor


Jul 13 2007, 8:07pm

Post #6 of 14 (109 views)
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"written from their point of view" - how is that not "spin"? [In reply to] Can't Post

At least, as I understand it, spin does not involve lying, or even exaggeration. It does involve prepackaging a "point of view" - to help someone, or some group of people via the media, who are unfamiliar with some dispute, understand those aspects of it that are subject to more than one interpretation, in such a way that they will tend to take your side. And it does involve leaving out or playing down unfavorable facts.

Spin is also conscious. The spinner knows perfectly well what the other side's arguments are. To say that a statement to the media is not spun, but is "just from his own point of view", is to imply that the writer honestly cannot understand (not agree with, but just understand) any other point of view than his own. That's a pretty immature outlook, more common perhaps with utterly self-obsessed media stars than with, say, film directors and producers who have learned to work well with large teams of diverse people.

I don't feel that Jackson is being put down here. He's being praised for a kind of innovative PR professionalism. He used the web where others have used more traditional media tools to try to sway public opinion.

I took his statement last year with the normal grain of salt one reserves for use with anyone who makes a living creating illusions. Of course, I felt the same wariness about New Line's press releases, too.



squire online:
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GaladrielTX
Tol Eressea


Jul 13 2007, 10:32pm

Post #7 of 14 (87 views)
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Yes. [In reply to] Can't Post

Neither side has refrained from expressing their opinion. The word “spin” doesn’t seem inapt, and it doesn’t bother me.

To be honest, at first I thought Patty was more concerned that the article didn’t make it absolutely clear that TORN wasn’t affiliated with Peter Jackson. There was an article a few months ago that implied TORN was Jackson’s personal web site. So that’s what I thought Patty was taking offense at, at first.

~~~~~~~~

Coming up with reasons for changing my nick from GaladrielTX to Galadriel wore me out.



Elizabeth
Valinor


Jul 14 2007, 12:34am

Post #8 of 14 (81 views)
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Spin vs. POV [In reply to] Can't Post

I always thought the difference is that the principals in a discussion state facts plus their points of view, whereas others on the respective sides add spin (color):

"I have sued New Line, claiming..." (POV)
"He's yet another in the long line of folks sueing NL, which has a long history of misdeeds of which this is another example." (spin)
"He shouldn't have sued us, we have always behaved impeccably." (POV)
"He's a selfish, greedy pig trying to get more than his due." (spin)

Of course, once the principals stoop to name calling (cf. Shaye) they're spinning, too, so maybe the distinction is really the emotional content of the remark.




Son of Elizabeth in Frodo's tree
March, 2007


Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 14 2007, 12:59am

Post #9 of 14 (85 views)
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Depends on your interpretation, I guess. [In reply to] Can't Post

Is "spin" merely one perpective on a matter, or an attempt to obscure facts so as to put a better face on things? And does PJ use us or confide in us? I think how you define terms here is going to determine whether or not there are any grounds for offence. Was PJ's story "spin"? Choose your definition. Are we useful tools, or just good friends? Some of both, I expect. PJ isn't stupid; it was good publicity to talk to us first and get his story out to the fans directly. But I don't think he thinks we're stupid either; he has taken good notice of our opinions in the past.

If one assumes that PJ runs TORn, then that leads to the idea that this site is his personal vehicle for distribution of information...or as many people interpret the word "spin", disinformation. And that leads to the inference that those of us who hang out here are people who hang on his every word and believe it implicitly. In other words, that we TORNadoes are mere tools in PJ's battle against New Line, his personal fanboy army (most reporters still haven't grasped that half those fan"boys" are really girls). One could read the article as implying that conclusion, considering the other examples of personal websites that are given, and that no distinction is understood between TORn and KIKn and the various "official" websites. But then, that distinction isn't really going to be understood by most people.

We do rather pride ourselves on our "unofficial but very friendly" status here, don't we? We love the idea that PJ gives us exclusives and comes to our parties and considers us the go-to site. It was a fairly hard-won status for us, what with restraining orders and all. We'd like to think that PJ told us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help him Eru. But there were still plenty of ruffled feathers when PJ's statement was published among those who did feel we were being "used", and lots of discussion as to the merits of PJ's case as stated and New Line's as stated. We most of us love PJ, but we reserve the right to think for ourselves, thankyouverymuch.

I think this article is probably a step forward, in that they've finally grasped the idea that websites can and do have real influence and that those in the media are finally catching on, but it will probably take a while longer before entertainment journalists manage to understand the distinction between official and unofficial sites, if they ever do. It used to be that Tolkien fans were seen has hippie relics or teenage boys playing D&D in their parents' basement. Now we're a force to be reckoned with, for we have attained the reputation of rabid internet fanboys with enough influence for the media wizards to be trying to dominate our minds in order to access our bank accounts. Escaping goblins to be caught by wolves, perhaps? Tongue

Silverlode

Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The genius and the plan thus inspired
Depart me and I, entering a room,
Find myself on the threshold, stand still
And wonder what I came to do there.


Patty
Immortal


Jul 14 2007, 1:18am

Post #10 of 14 (73 views)
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My understanding of "spin" [In reply to] Can't Post

is your second idea--a deliberate attempt to obscure facts or rearrange them some how so as to put a better face on things. And from what I remember of PJ's letter, it largely just stated that there was a lawsuit going, and that despite attempts to resolve it it hadn't been successfully resolved to both parties satisfaction, and that sorry they weren't going to be doing the movie, were moving on, and they wished success to whomever did do it. No name calling (aha, that's spin of a different kind, and was very ill-advisedly used). I just couldn't call that letter spin--or at least I didn't feel spun, and that's what I meant about not liking what she wrote. Good answer as always, Silverlode.

Riding with the Rohirrim!


Adanedhel
Bree

Jul 14 2007, 1:55am

Post #11 of 14 (67 views)
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Wikipedia on Spin [In reply to] Can't Post

Spin
In public relations, spin is a sometimes pejorative term signifying a heavily biased portrayal in one's own favor of an event or situation. While traditional public relations may also rely on creative presentation of the facts, "spin" often, though not always, implies disingenuous, deceptive and/or highly manipulative tactics. Politicians are often accused of spin by commentators and political opponents, when they produce a counter argument or position.
The term is borrowed from ball sports such as cricket, where a spin bowler may impart spin on the ball during a delivery so that it will curve through the air or bounce in an advantageous manner.
The techniques of "spin" include:
  • Selectively presenting facts and quotes that support one's position (cherry picking)
  • Non-denial denial
  • Phrasing in a way that assumes unproven truths
  • Euphemisms to disguise or promote one's agenda
  • Ambiguity
  • Skirting
  • Rejecting the validity of hypotheticals
  • Appealing to internal policies

Another spin technique involves careful choice of timing in the release of certain news so it can take advantage of prominent events in the news. A famous reference to this practice occurred when British Government press officer Jo Moore used the phrase It's now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury, (widely paraphrased or misquoted as "It's a good day to bury bad news"), in an email sent on September 11, 2001. The furor caused when this email was reported in the press eventually caused her to resign.



Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 14 2007, 1:58am

Post #12 of 14 (72 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't feel "spun" either. PJ's letter was courteous, took the high ground and did not come across to me as an appeal to mobilize the fans into action (though of course, fans are pretty good at mobilizing themselves these days and don't need much in the way of encouragement). But on the other hand, PJ is clearly a shrewd businessman who knows how to play the game, and it was a very smart move to say what he did, in the manner he did, and then get on with his other projects. It made it clear that he couldn't be bribed or bullied and put the ball in New Line's court. So far their response has been....rather lacking. So PJ established his position, kept his credibility and his image, and Bob Shaye has been falling all over himself tarnishing New Line's. And the media carousel goes round and round....

I think highly of PJ, but it would be naive to think that he doesn't consider communication with the fans through TORn and KIKn in the light of good publicity and business practice as well as fun (we all know he's a fanboy at heart like us, after all). So yes, he does use us...but I think he also appreciates us, which makes it all good.

Silverlode

Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The genius and the plan thus inspired
Depart me and I, entering a room,
Find myself on the threshold, stand still
And wonder what I came to do there.


weaver
Half-elven

Jul 14 2007, 3:58am

Post #13 of 14 (66 views)
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speaking from experience here... [In reply to] Can't Post

The better part of my career has involved public relations work, raising funds or writing grants for some worthwhile cause or the other...

The best people in this line of work don't ignore facts, or lie, or manipulate to make a case...rather, they work to present the positive side of a story, or things they can point to as evidence why a particular group deserves to be funded, or meets the goals of the people giving out the money. Not that there aren't people on the "dark side" in my field. But the professionals in it realize that the best case is to present a particular argument, set of facts, or perspective based on "honesty first' and "persuasiveness second."

My take on the Jackson's interaction with TORN are that he meets the "honest first" and "persuasive second" criteria. I think he sees this community as a place where he can present information directly to the fans...he's honest in that he's clear that these are the facts from his perspective, and acknowledges that this is only where he is coming from, and that everyone (in this case New Line) may not agree with him. The persuasive element, if there is one, comes in in terms of his approach -- he's well aware that fans like to be treated with respect, and to get "scoops" from people like him, and so he uses that approach to communicate his message in the most effective way.

By contrast, "spin" isn't based on truth -- it's based on throwing so much at you so fast that you get dizzy and can no longer see the truth. I don't see Jackson doing that. In the commentaries for the films, he mostly spends his time explaining the basis for the decisions he made -- not trying to say that you need to agree with him, but just making sure you know where he was coming from -- and what they were dealing with -- before you judge him. If he throws in a line at the end encouraging you to think kindly of him, well, I don't begrudge him that. Any time you put your blood, sweat and tears into something it's ok to ask for that, even from those who disagree with you.

Weaver



Idril Celebrindal
Tol Eressea


Jul 15 2007, 2:28am

Post #14 of 14 (46 views)
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That's my take on "spin" too [In reply to] Can't Post

Spin has a negative connotation for me because it has been used so frequently to misdirect and misinform the public by certain politicians who shall remain nameless. It always seems to involve exaggeration and innuendo, if not outright falsehood. Trying to make something into what it is not is spin's very essence.

Jackson and Walsh's statement didn't seem like that to me. It was an attempt to persuade, yes, but not an attempt to hide or conceal their actions, desires or beliefs.

With caffeine, all things are possible.

The pity of Bilbo will screw up the fate of many.

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