Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Media frenzy distorts perspective

Seldom do I watch television news. But having kept an eye on the bulletins featuring a house in the Grange throughout the day from airports in London and Edinburgh, and again this evening at home, I have been reminded of the ability of the media to distort perspective - and, indeed, to impose its own editorial view. Three broken windows and a vandalised car! Of course it does merit every effort by the police to detain the culprits - not least because it may well have been perpetrated by anarchists using one of several locations in the Edinburgh area which tend to be used as bases or outlets for this type of activity. The key issue is the rule of law rather than the media honeypot Fred Goodwin.

Actually, day by day throughout the UK there are vandalism incidents similar to (and much worse than) that at at Sir Fred's home. Almost exactly two years ago, I reported on the anarchist attack on local MP Nigel Griffiths' office. It barely registered in the TV or print news media - but the event was at least as bad as the one which now is being given the oxygen of wall to wall publicity.

I am left to reflect that the most watched U tube clip in the world over the last 24 hours, has not registered at all with the television media - though it offers an (albeit partisan) critique of the handling of the current recession - of rather more substance than a few broken windows by some anarchic crackpots. Blogging is one of the reasons for the decline in the fortunes of newspapers and for the spread of Daniel Hanan's 3 minute YouTube speech. It is to be hoped that it will continue to flourish and bring a welcome counter perspective to the rather incestuous tendencies of television news.

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