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Rival Visions: Reportorial Approaches, Audience Preferences, and New Frontiers
Unformatted Document Text:  Rival Visions: Reportorial Approaches, Audience Preferences, and New Frontiers 1 As knowledge of the world beyond American borders grew in value at the end of the 19th century, the extension of U.S. interests to the far reaches of the Pacific prompted intense interest in the new colonial domain in the Philippines. Closely related but distinct strains of discourse emerged to inform American media audiences about the newly discovered realm, with audience preferences emerging to order popular conceptions of the Philippines as well as the power of those promulgating those visions. Here, that progression is demonstrated through the tale of two interlocutors, one well-connected and first to market with news of the Philippines, the other emerging from the sidelines to take the marketplace by storm with his use of visual technologies, broad-brush descriptive approach, and invocations of the power of science. Scarce information about the new frontier created opportunities for entrepreneurial knowledge workers from diverse domains. The marketplace of ideas in which they operated, subject to changing demographic conditions created by internal and transnational migrations of unprecedented scope, assigned ever greater value to themes connected to national and racial identities. Technological developments spurred in part by changing media markets favored the exploitation of visual approaches geared to rapid recognition of unambiguous messages, thus boosting the commercial viability of entrenched stereotypes. At the same time, the growing market demanded images of otherness specific to the new realms of American influence and opportunity. Cultural curiosity about the new milieu and its inhabitants, constrained by the binarizing tendency of visual media to present extremes of contrast, produced a distortion of Filipino identities that served the identity-bolstering interests of domestic audiences. It also

Authors: Vaughan, Christopher.
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Rival Visions: Reportorial Approaches, Audience Preferences, and New Frontiers
1
As knowledge of the world beyond American borders grew in value at the end of
the 19th century, the extension of U.S. interests to the far reaches of the Pacific prompted
intense interest in the new colonial domain in the Philippines. Closely related but distinct
strains of discourse emerged to inform American media audiences about the newly
discovered realm, with audience preferences emerging to order popular conceptions of
the Philippines as well as the power of those promulgating those visions. Here, that
progression is demonstrated through the tale of two interlocutors, one well-connected and
first to market with news of the Philippines, the other emerging from the sidelines to take
the marketplace by storm with his use of visual technologies, broad-brush descriptive
approach, and invocations of the power of science.
Scarce information about the new frontier created opportunities for
entrepreneurial knowledge workers from diverse domains. The marketplace of ideas in
which they operated, subject to changing demographic conditions created by internal and
transnational migrations of unprecedented scope, assigned ever greater value to themes
connected to national and racial identities. Technological developments spurred in part by
changing media markets favored the exploitation of visual approaches geared to rapid
recognition of unambiguous messages, thus boosting the commercial viability of
entrenched stereotypes. At the same time, the growing market demanded images of
otherness specific to the new realms of American influence and opportunity. Cultural
curiosity about the new milieu and its inhabitants, constrained by the binarizing tendency
of visual media to present extremes of contrast, produced a distortion of Filipino
identities that served the identity-bolstering interests of domestic audiences. It also


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