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DT: come reap
Posted on 2004.08.01 at 13:48


petulans at 2004-01-08 21:25 (UTC) ()
I have to admit, I despise one media trend (which I believe is confined to the UK, at least in it's severity) above all others. Namely, the practise of promoting the murders of schoolchildren to become the topic of the nation's dinnertime conversations for anything up to six months at a time.

In recent years there has been a disturbing trend to not simply report these events and provide appropriate follow-up information when appropriate, but to swamp those watching or reading the news with every step of the case and subsequent trial from beginning to end, often running over periods half a year or more.

I'm all for the reporting of such events in a manner which increases public awareness (and thus with any luck safety), but, usually at about the point when the names of the victims switch from being 'given name surname' format to simply their first names in the news, the nation is expected to know the cases inside out and it is deemed newsworthy that both the killer and victims both ate porridge regularly or that the killer's next-door-neighbour's mother's best friend's lover once said that he was a bit spooky at times.

It drives me mad. I've actually, as hinted at in my interest list, got a fairly active interest in abnormal (specifically sociopathic) psychology and serial killers particularly. I've read a good twenty or twenty-five books on the subject, from essentially long psychology papers to recounts of the events and personalities involved in Richard Chase's "Sacramento Vampire" 'hijinks'. However, when I see the media circus fuelled by incensing public interest in these matters beyond the point where it serves a useful purpose, and, to be cynical (though I very much suspect realistic), cashing in on a terrible event primarily to increase interest in the news and thus increase sales or viewing figures, it really drives me up the wall. On a more personal level, I don't appreciate that I'm viewed as being uninformed when it slips out down the pub that no, I didn't know that "slashin' rippa" John Doe wore briefs, not boxers, and I certainly don't want to be dragged into a fifteen minute conversation about it.
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