Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Depressing News

The thing about business travel is that it forces you out of your daily routine. Today I found myself taking in BBC News 24 and skimming tabloids in various M1 service stations and airport lounges through the course of the d ay.

Both were instructive and re-inforced exactly what is wrong with this God foresaken country. I'll take the tabloids first, because I've posted about this subject before.

There seems to be some kind of competition going on to uncover the piece of evidence that makes Haringey Council most culpable over the Baby P case. The Daily Tittle says 'We've found this piece of evidence - isn't that shoocking?!?'. The Daily Tattle says 'Ah but we've found this piece of evidence - isn't that even more shoocking!?!?' It is all very unedifying, to say the least.

I, of course, did not know Baby P from Adam. But I have been truly sickened by the story and, to be perfectly honest, I have been quite depressed about it when I have allowed myself to think about it. So God only know how this wee boy's father is feeling right now.

My point is that the story has been, quite rightly, reported. It has, again quite rightly, been raised in Parliament (although it would have been nice to see it handled rather more sensitively). And an inquiry has been established.

Why can't the press just let it be now? Let the authorities get on with investigating what went wrong and let them try to sort things out. Give them the space to make the right decisions for the right reasons. But the tabloids will just not let go until they have exhausted every last angle and every last lead. Sensational headline after sensational headline with no thought for the people who have been truly damaged by the whole affair. These papers are an affront to decent society.

And so to BBC News 24 and their unrelenting coverage of John Sergeant's decision to quit 'Strictly Come Off It' or whatever it is.

Why does this even merit a mention on a TV news programme? Sadly, it reflects that our society values celebrity more than equality. It seems entertainment is more important than enlightenment. Gossip overshadows government.

It has been hard to avoid the tiresome debate about why twinkle-toes hasn't been voted off before now. The bottom line is that you can't ask the public to vote and then tell them what criteria they should be using to decide how to cast their vote. If you want to have a competition to decide who is the best dancer then it should be people who are qualified to judge on that criterion that should make the decision alone.

(The same applies to X-Factor, by the way. Simon Cowell puts it nicely when he talks about the likeability factor.)

There has to be something wrong when a TV programme which serves no purpose other than to entertain and adds no value but to help us pass the time on a Saturday night is providing the lead news story for much of the day.

If our society is one that demands this type of news then maybe there's a place for those tabloids after all. There's a rather depressing thought to end a long day!!!


Suzy said...

Ah see, if you had just switched over to Sky News at 10.30 you could have had the *joy* of me talking about the tremendous benefits of prepaying for Christmas and also being asked for my opinion on what consumers should do for Christmas this year - eat your heart out Martin Lewis eh! ;0)

Seriously though, regarding Baby P, I could not even bring myself to read about it! I did read a little but felt so sick that I had to stop.

As for the press letting it be :0( somehow I do not see that happening in the near future :0(.

Suzy said...

P.S. forgot to say have you tried the new BA lounge in T5 yet? Now that IS a business lounge ;0)

west-world said...

Good to have you back. Hope that 'flu wasn't too bad.

It's pretty cool having such a major media star following my li'l ol' blog ;-)

Not set foot in T5 yet. Too expensive and too prone to delays for my liking!!!

Suzy said...

'major media star' (laughing head off here - which in fact just made me cough !!!) ;0)

I hope you have a less depressing day today!!