Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Read all about it.....

Today's news headlines make for a thoroughly depressing read. Scores of people have been killed in Baghdad following a series of car bombings where at least 127 people killed and 448 wounded, some critically. Climate change continues to provide the gloomy forecast of impending disaster and ongoing revelations at Haringey show how "baby Peter" continued to suffer horrific abuse when all manner of agencies should have stepped in. Drs at a clinic failed to spot that 17-month-old Peter was in horrific pain with a broken back just two days before he was killed.

Yet peppered amongst the doom and gloom are stories of domestic chaos at Tiger Woods home, the Queen meeting with "Lady Gaga" and a bizarre tale of discrimination by a far right wing Christian hotelier abusing a Muslim woman over her dress.

In truth I find that the banal is almost as depressing as the dreadful banner headline lead stories. Both make me wince.

I do not consider myself to have an addictive personality. I don't drink and I don't smoke, I don't use drugs and I do consider myself to be a right thinking, relatively levelheaded chap. However, I do find myself checking the news headlines two or three times a day and feeling far more fed up after reading current affairs. The manner in which news is delivered troubles me. Katie Price aka Jordan, reality TV "stars" and bizarre stories, usually with a sexual connotation jostle for position with the life changing banner headlines.

Sue has a tendency to watch morning television as she prepares for work. The magazine style program; GMTV is delivered in bite sized almost machine-gun delivered salvos. 25 seconds of a story devoted to the family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan leads into a two minute story about an overweight celebrity pet followed by a bizarre quiz asking the capital of France and the chance to win £10,000 by text at two pounds a time when the answers are (A) Bolton, (B) New York, or (C) Paris. The Segway from the tragic to the trite is about as jarring as a fat woman at a disco in her 50's on the pull.

What is happening to our news content, and why do the providers think we need the peurile, pithy delivery? Why is there such an appetite for the banal? Who honestly is bothered about Kerry Katona's weight, or Britney Spears boozing? Is it me, or does the Emperor really have no clothes?

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