Saturday, 27 June 2015

Counter-Productive Journalism.

I just read an online newspaper report outlining facts about some of the British victims of the Tunisia shooting, and do you now what? I found my sympathy for them subsiding.

Why is that? It’s an odd sort of reaction, don’t you think? It’s maybe even a shameful reaction. Well, the reason is this:

The whole thing is shoddily written. There’s nothing sharp, immediate or articulate about it. It seems to be aimed at the lowest common denominator and is clearly intended to evoke my sympathy and sense of horror.

The reporter at the scene saw the bullet holes in a woman’s bag.

That’s bottom-end, manipulative media at work.

The fact is, I don’t need to have my sympathy and sense of horror evoked by a badly written, tabloid-style report. The plain facts do that. I’m well attuned to human suffering, and all the report does is turn me off. For that I feel ashamed, and maybe rightly so. But there are tragic and deeply upsetting human stories involved here and they don’t warrant being cheapened by cheap journalism.

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