Without Reason

"Because reason is for rational people"

Too Much Hype, Not Enough Quality

I don't know why but I am getting more and more intolerant of irrational and inappropriate hype that the media here in the UK seems to delight in.

If it isn't Big Brother then it is the World Cup, if it isn't the Beckhams, then it is New Labour, and if it isn't Bird Flu, then it is BSE. Have all of our journalists been robbed of their ability to write intelligent, meaningful stories that are in some proportion to the issues being covered?
I am getting more and more angry at sensationalist coverage of the most mundane events, just because the media believes it has the right to manipulate public opinion for it's own gain. I am even more upset when relatively innocent people end up paying the price of this sensationalism. The two stories I will use to illustrate the opposite end of this spectrum are the recent cases of John Prescott and an 11 year old who has recently become pregnant and her 4 month old sister.
I am no fan of John Prescott ( I believe his style icon is Jabba the Hut) and I don't like many of the things he does or stands for. However the way the media hounded him over his affair and them for weeeks after it all became public was nothing short of a disgrace. It is completely unfair that anyone be subjected to such public scrutiny. I understand that he was in a position of authority and was supposed to be representing the Public Good TM. and that many people are angry at the abuse of trust and lack of judgement he showed. However, to finally oust him from his position because he was playing a game on his lawn while th boss was away is simply ludicrous. John's story contrasts sharply with that of an 11 year old girl who is pregnant and who lives with her mother who is a heroin addict. The girl smokes 20 cigarettes a day and drinks vodka at the weekend in the belief that they will not affect her, or the baby inside her. She lives with her Heroin addicted mother and her 4 month old sibling, who is also suffering from drug addiction and withdrawl. All three of these children are suffering and will continue to suffer, but rather than do anything about it the media have created a market for this type of story and pay people to tell them. Where is the shame which that mother should be rightfully feeling for failing to bring up her children in a caring manner? How can any publisher justify giving money to a woman who they know will abuse herself, and by extension her family, for a story which has terrible consequences for all involved?

Society as a whole has a tendency to avoid the bigger problems that are not easily summed up in a tabloid article and as journalists many writers have forgotten the heritage of pioneering social service that preceded them. The abundance of information, and the number of outlets for it has, I believe replaced the desire that writers had for maintaining high standards and codes of ethics. If journalists can find an outlet for it, they will surely write it! I think it is time we had a better prerequisite for our journalistic tendencies that that, and in this I include my own feeble efforts.


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