Monday, June 23, 2008

[exploiting grief] masterclass by sky and the bbc

We were watching Sky News and BBC World News last evening and something occurred which we'd already spoken of for a week or more.

To put it in context, I'd been into the Melbourne Age in the morning and had noted it was full of killings and 15 girls becoming pregnant and all that and quite frankly, I don't wish to have this thrust onto my plate early morning or late at night.

Don't get me wrong - it's not that I'm uncaring or don't feel for the victims - it's just that I object to having it thrust upon me as "news".

So to last evening and sure enough - there was Sky with closeups of the contorted faces of newly bereaved people with tears rolling down their cheeks, as the reporter thrust a mike at them and asked them how they felt. But perhaps the most distressing aspect for me was how the camera rolled on, lovingly taking in their grief to enable the home viewer to cluck-cluck in sympathy and feel awful for the night.

So I suggested we switch to BBC. Not quite as bad but not good either. As for Sky, they are in no position to defend themselves on the charge that they are not only exploiting grief for entertainment purposes but are actively seeking it out in world "trouble spots".

I find it all bizarre and sickening.


Nunyaa said...

Lordsomber has a great way of describing this kind of journalism.


Yes, we're now into emovision.

Bag said...

Funny really. If the TV was full of good news and people smiling and talking about how nice things were we would call it propoganda of the state and nobody would watch. They show all the bad stuff and little balancing good stuff and we cry for protection from it by the state and watch it everyday. We like death and chaos.

Funny world really. Not sure what the answer is for the TV where you can't get it all into such a limited time or the newspapers that only have limited space. Maybe thats why I like the news webs plus the blogs for my news.

Book Owl said...

So very with you on this one, James. Grief is no sadder or more real for being on the TV as it happens. Time was when humans were capable of just thinking about a piece of news, heard on the radio, and then knowing how to respond both emotionally and practically.

Being spoon fed is both disconcerting and humiliating for all concerned.

jmb said...

That's one of the reasons I refuse to watch the news on TV. It is so in your face with this type of "news" and you can't choose to watch or not whereas you can with the print media and it just doesn't work on the radio so they don't do it there.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Yes, I hate the way Sky, in particular seems to revel in this sort of "news" . The people being interviewed are still in shock and are not in a fit state to talk to "journalists".

CherryPie said...

I haven't watched TV news for ages, I prefer the radio or internet. The television sensationalises the news rather than just giving the facts!