Friday, November 11, 2005

CNNisation of Malaysian Press

I was met with a rude shock to unfold the two main English newspapers this morning and find photos of corpses splashed across the front page.

Perhaps, I should not be shocked. Perhaps, I should accept the fact that it has today become a norm for TV news and newspapers to show graphic images of dead bodies.

Such crassness we project.

What ever happened to treating the dead with dignity and respect? What ever happened to respecting the families in grieving? What does this say about the society we live in - our values, our believe system?

I just cannot imagine any purpose beyond mere sensationalism that a bunch of photos of dead bodies might serve. I have no doubt that “This would sell!!!” is screaming through the heads of news editors, but have these same news editors become so completely voyeuristic about the pain and suffering captured in their images that any notion of respect or dignity for the dead, and the families in grieving, is beyond their ability to comprehend?

It is plain puerile to explain away by saying that it is not possible to give the public a realistic idea of how horrible the situation is if the public do not see that there are bodies as well. Unless, like myself, the journalists are etymologically challenged therefore are not capable of effectively communicating the situation.

There are a lot of horrible things in the world that I can easily comprehend without having my nose rubbed in the salacious obsession with dead bodies.

This is a common decency issue and not a censorship issue; the pictures were not necessary.

I just pray that our local press’ infatuation with dead bodies would never reach that of their CNN counterpart. (CNN recently sued the US government for access to dead bodies, so that they can film them.)

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