Essay About Mermaids

Essay About Mermaids-10
Partially or entirely fabricated nature documentaries aren’t a new development.Documentarians have thrived off manufactured moments since the birth of the format.In a four-part investigation, Christie Wilcox, a scientist and writer, documented how “Venom Hunters,” a Discovery Channel show about amateur snake-handling, contained animal abuse, permit violations, and misrepresentation.

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There is no easy solution, and the success of many of these shows means that the fake documentary phenomenon is here to stay.

There is hope: After receiving significant criticism for its programming, Discovery’s head of programming announced in 2015 that the company would phase out these kinds of programming, at least for Shark Week.

Submarine blamed a real ferry accident, in which several passengers lost their lives, on a made-up shark; the search and rescue operators who performed admirably in their response to the accident had to issue a release disavowing Discovery Communications.

Actual shark scientists were looped into the Shark Week narrative, often filmed without full knowledge of the theme and purpose of the documentary.

Even the classic and fondly remembered nature program “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” has come under scrutiny for staging scenes that resulted in animal cruelty complaints.

Discovery Communications hasn’t been spared these accusations, either.

“If NOAA is lying to us about the existence of mermaids then they’re definitely lying to us about climate change.” It was August 2014 and I was flying home from the Third International Marine Conservation Congress in Glasgow, Scotland, where I has just chaired a session on the impact of fake documentaries on public understanding of science.

When my seatmate—a fifth-grade schoolteacher—found out that I’m a marine biologist, she decided to share this insight with me.

The marketing for Mermaids leaned heavily on that reputation.

Meanwhile, the disclaimer shown during the end credits flashed onscreen in tiny font for barely three seconds.


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