The media item mainly focuses on depicting the symptoms of narcolepsy and how the disorder disrupts the everyday lives of sufferers. The segment does this through its portrayal of the personal story of narcolepsy sufferer Anthony Raymond. Anthony has suffered from this disorder for years and through his everyday struggles viewers are given a sense of what it would be like to live with narcolepsy. Just by listening to his tone of voice it is clear it has not been an easy journey for Anthony.

The CNN news segment is narrated by the voice of Paula Zahn. In most aspects of the segment it is obvious by her subjective tone; the audience tend to find themselves intrigued right from the very beginning. The brief yet fascinating introduction at the beginning is more than enough to pull the audience in “one of the most compelling mysteries of the mind”.

The target audience of the media item is the general news viewers who have little previous knowledge or understanding about narcolepsy. This is evident through the various methods the programme employs to try and capture audience's interest. The segment emphasises the ‘’mysterious’’ nature of the syndrome through the use of eerie music over a montage of footage showing narcolepsy sufferers suddenly falling asleep for no reason. Sensationalist language, such as ''strike without warning”, “insatiable need for sleep”, ‘’linger without a cure,’’ is also used to pique the audiences’ curiosity.

The real raw emotions evolve from Anthony’s point of view. His perspective on this disorder and his means of communicating it to others is honest, which elicits an emotional response from the audiece as well as providing detailed insight. Throughout the video Anthony gives vivid details of his past and presents memories of incidents that occurred and how he copes with narcolepsy. Moments included such as sleep paralysis, hallucinations and even sudden spells of sleep in classroom. Towards the end of the video, Anthony self records his sleepless nights and takes us through his naps during the day which further validates the plight of living with narcolepsy.

Providing detailed scientific information about narcolepsy is not the central focus of the video, which aims more towards eliciting empathy from the audience and creating a greater understanding about the experiences of those who suffer from the disorder. Consequently, the details conveyed in the media item are presented in a way that is palatable to regular viewers. There is very little scientific language used in the video, and only a very brief explanation of hypocretin deficiency and its role in narcolepsy.
The video also features an interview with Dr Emmanuel Mignot director of the centre of Narcolepsy at Stanford University. The expertise and educated information given by Dr Emmanuel, assures the audience that this media item is accurate and would be reliable source of information. Viewers may sense a tone of professionalism and proficiency because of the fact that Dr Emmanuel’s extensive research and medical background in the area. However the inclusion of his comments mainly serves to provide credibility to the news piece and to reinforce the points illustrated in the segment.

Collectively, this media item is generally easy to understand and relatively reliable. A better understanding of this sleep disorder is perceived when observing the video and hence viewers are not left confounded. There is sufficient amount of information to give a brief yet knowledgeable outlook on narcolepsy, as well as, giving an insight into life with Narcolepsy. Through his ending statement “Narcolepsy is a problem, but it’s not the worst thing in the world for me that could happen and I’m still living” hope is enlisted and a better outlook is perceived on this never- ending nightmare, Narcolepsy.


Previous - Next