Media exploitation

YOURLifeChoices member Auntie Mabel recently posted on our Meeting Place about the insensitivity of Channel 7 during its coverage of a horrible quad bike accident, which took the life of a 13-year-old girl. Has recent media coverage been guilty of completely forsaking any pretense of common decency?




Comment – When it comes to news, does anything go?

There have been several times when I have switched on the evening news only to be appalled by the coverage of the day’s events. It seems that news crews have been issued a brief to find the most shocking, insensitive footage to be shown just as people sit down for the evening.

This week a grieving mother took matters into her own hands by posting a message on Channel 7’s Facebook page, following its exploitative coverage of the accident in which her 13-year-old daughter lost her life. Channel 7 not only saw fit to show footage taken from a helicopter directly after the accident, but also sent a reporter to try and get a response from the grieving mother, as her deceased daughter still lay on the ground. This footage was shown before the mother had time to break the news to her own family.

Many of the stories we see on television and read in newspapers are not about celebrities who court the publicity, but average, everyday people who have suffered some of the most traumatic experiences imaginable. So, how does the media in general justify its exploitation of people’s grief and misfortune?

Personally, I think a lot of the blame lies with social media and technology, which provide instant coverage of such atrocities. After the fatal shootings at a movie theatre in Denver this week, footage of video taken on a mobile phone was posted online and published by news agencies. How can this be considered acceptable? It seems we have become so used to the instant gratification for knowledge which the internet and social media provide, that news reports must go one step further in order to trump the information we already have.

But quite simply, this one step is one step too far.

Do you think the media in general is no longer guided by a moral compass? Has the need to shock become greater than reporting the facts?

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