Riprese di realtà: indicalità ed efficacia sensibile, tra eyewitness video e news / Reality shootings: indexicality and sensorial effectiveness, between eyewitness videos and news

  • Lucio Spaziante
Keywords: audiovisuals, eyewitness video, media, news, indexicality, witnessing, semiotics


In a recording culture that constantly documents the everyday reality through audiovisual materials, a particular type of amateur videos, called eyewitness videos (EV), emerges in crisis situations such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks. The EVs are regularly inserted into the tv news flux as they convey, at the same time, the objectivity effect of a prosthesis and the emotional and testimonial taking charge of those who personally participate in the event. EVs are attributed a value of thereness deriving from their - presumed - self-evidence that provides viewers with the experience of being able to “touch” closely the event. Here it is evoked a form of naive indexicality which, through an impression of immediacy, de-problematizes that complex structural relationship between reality and its reproduction, contained in the media ontology. The analysis covered in this article highlights how that set, consisting of a promise of objectivity, absence of mediation and information surplus provided by the news, hides the effective technical - sound and visual - manipulation included in these materials. It’s a sub-code that produces a sort of amateur aesthetic of crisis, useful to be applied in other media contexts. This logic of sensorial effectiveness that leads to the search for subjective experiential effects, also determines the modification of the conventions related to the journalistic function of documentation. Rather than enriching a witnessing function, the rhetoric comprised in these media processes shows, rather, an impoverishment of the critical and informative role of the media.


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How to Cite
Spaziante, L. (1) “Riprese di realtà: indicalità ed efficacia sensibile, tra eyewitness video e news / Reality shootings: indexicality and sensorial effectiveness, between eyewitness videos and news”, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio, 00. Available at: (Accessed: 23October2021).