Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Media Circus Time

The mass murder that took place at VTech this week is truly tragic and senseless. My heart goes out to the students and families impacted by this, and in no way does what I'm about to say diminish any of that.

BUT....part of the reason I just hate it when these things happen is that the media just goes completely off the charts with the coverage. While this is a story that deserves our attention, I just hate the "theatrics" that are created around it by the news networks.

Within hours, the tragic story (whatever it may be) has an official title, a full logo and ominous theme music associated with it. And every time the network goes to or comes back from commercial break, they display the official "Campus Massacre" logo and play the ominous background music to further enhance the level of drama surrounding it. It's almost like they're advertising the movie of the week with full-fledged marketing strategy in place. Next, there will be t-shirts and action figures on sale everywhere.

I hate the marketing themes, the 24 X 7 coverage, the stupid reporters shoving microphones into grief-stricken faces and asking such intelligent questions as "how do you feel?". How do you think they feel, you idiot? What a profound question....

The other thing is that all news everywhere else just goes away. Like it's not happening. No telling what else is going on out there that we're not hearing about because every single network and local news station has sent all of their reporters to the site of the tragedy, as if we need all of them there at once.

The media is so annoying and even more so when we're dealing with real tragedy.


SandDancer said...

It is disturbing to think that in times of crisis, it is someone's job to design a logo to go with it. There was a UK satirical show in the 90s called The Day Today which was a spoof news show and they had all these ridiculous graphics and charts to accompany their stories - at the time it seemed exaggerated, now it would be harder to tell it apart from the real news.

Miss Forthright said...

It's interesting what stories the news pick up on- apparently every week here in the UK an entire family is killed by one of it's parents. BUT when the two little girls were murdered by the school caretaker a few years back, the news went mad.

It's all very manipulative and subjective. And another reason why i chose not to continue as a journalist.

M said...

The 24 x 7 nature of news programming has left it mostly void of quality. They have to fill time even if there's nothing left to say. So they do things like chasing down the neighbor of the grandmother of the former nanny who once knew someone who went to school with the maniac killer...for a riveting interview. Ugh.

They'll report this VTech thing to pieces until another more riveting tragedy blows it off the headlines, and then they'll move on and over-report the next crisis.