University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Wolfson College Lunchtime Seminar Series - Wednesdays of Full Term > The Patron, the Press, the People and the Progress: A Discussion on the Media’s Response to the Duchess of Cambridge’s Choice of Charities

The Patron, the Press, the People and the Progress: A Discussion on the Media’s Response to the Duchess of Cambridge’s Choice of Charities

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Elizabeth C Blake.

“We hope this amazing patronage will make it possible to open every art room five days a week.” (Nick Barton, chief executive of Action on Addiction on Middleton’s choice, as reported in The Times)

Thursday the 5th January 2012 and Britain’s Press reports that the Duchess of Cambridge has become the patron to four charitable organizations and a Scout Association volunteer. It is almost expected these days that the privileged and the celebrity should lend their image to altruistic causes raising awareness through media exposure. To most, it is a relationship that benefits both parties where the power of an individual’s prominence in the public eye can draw attention to those causes most in need. Through the media’s coverage an individual is celebrated for their generous support, while the organization gains the benefit of reaching a larger audience – or do they?

The mainstream media uses a complex system of codification to construct its stories with care. Does this mean the ‘right’ message might be lost in the process? This talk will examine the way in which the media reported this particular story and assess how the organisations where highlighted and to what effect. It will consider the impact of the photographic image, drawing ideas from Roland Barthes Camera Lucida to help illustrate the discussion. It will attempt to understand the selective processes of the media and consider the overall progress the ‘caring Kate’ image can make for an organization.

“In the wise words of inspirational Nelson Mandela ‘Scouting inspires patriotism, sound moral values, courage, character-building, self-reliance and community awareness’.” (AMII, Page Three Girl on Middleton’s choice, as reported in The Sun)

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Lunchtime Seminar Series - Wednesdays of Full Term series.

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