Do you feel, when watching TV news, that the planet is being reduced to a maelstrom of war and abuse which is obliterating everything else?
I am not advocating heads in the sand and the recent terrible events in Paris certainly justified big, extensive coverage. I was glued to the screen as events unfolded and in awe of the journalists covering the events.
Many years ago, when I was at Heathrow airport following up a mortar attack by the IRA, I watched the TV reporters preparing to go live on the nine o’clock news. One was in a state of panic because we, the media, had not yet been given a briefing by the anti-terrorist chief. However, as he went live to ITN he was calm, professional and found plenty to say. What a skill.
My main worry is that the tragic tales that fill our screens now compete with reality shows that cover A&E hospital departments, police incidents and so many aspects of life in disadvantaged communities. All for our entertainment. Not only are we are in danger of becoming desensitised. but I fear many may be losing their grip on what is real news as opposed to reality TV.
The searching of Cliff Richard’s house – live in our living rooms – is a case in point. So far he has not been charged with anything, but even if he is, I don’t feel this public humiliation, which is one step away from mob rule and public lynching, can ever be justified. If we imagine our homes being turned upside down on live TV we might be more outraged that public shaming can override the presumption of innocence.
Traditionally, TV news ended with a quirky story to cheer people up – it was called ‘the dead donkey’ – so I am sure it will amuse you to hear that Mr F has bought me a onesie, something I vowed I would never wear.
He sent Fisher Junior a pic of me reluctantly trying it on, to which she replied: "When dad said it was purple and spotty, I imagined a Mr Blobby-type print but this looks good. I would be seen with you in this!"
What? She thinks I am going to wear it in public? Drop the dead donkey…