Archive for December, 2012


December 16th, 2012

I think news should inform us in some way.  It often gets waylaid in entertainment or opinion, but if I watch or read a news outlet my primary aim is to walk away more informed than I was when I sat down.

The coverage of Newtown, Connecticut shooting falls well short of this expectation.  I already know an awful thing happened.  I know how many died and their ages. I know America has an enormous practical and political problem with gun control.  I don’t know how it feels to lose a child.  I can’t imagine a week of pointing cameras in the faces of those that just have will change that.

I am reminded of Ian Hislop’s recent commentary on the Aberfan Disaster in his progamme ‘Stiff Upper Lip‘ which described the first modern media disaster:

Aberfan, where in 1966 local people met terrible tragedy with an old-fashioned resilience and dignity in the face of an increasingly intrusive media which was now insisting that we all had a right to share in other people’s grief.

I don’t think we have that right.  It is different for victims of war or natural disasters to an extent – by reminding those of us well ensconced in our safe homes that there are those desperate for our help keeps the money coming in and the pressure on governments to help.

No outsider can help in Newtown today, other than by staying away and affording these people some privacy for their grief.  I think I will give the news a miss for a while.

I’m reluctant to make a point from any of this but feel I should relate this soapbox moan to the purpose of this blog in some way.  Therefore I will leave you to explore the Daily Mail’s online reporting and ponder the impact of the Levenson Report on their coverage.


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