Thursday, 19 March 2009

Yer Yellar Belly Paper

I’ve never really been an avid reader of newspaper’s. I think I could probably count the amount of times I bought a paper on one hand.
I did read a lot of the free papers when I was living in London but I think that just fuelled my distrust and hatred of newspapers.

This is mainly down to sensationalist journalism which nearly all papers employ now and the celebrity culture which has killed of real journalism and actual stories pushed aside.

Obviously this isn’t anything new but a few stories have came out this week which are totally bizarre and highlight some of the downfalls of newspapers and journalism these days. And if you searched my blog I’m sure you’d find a few entries about my feelings towards the idiocy of some magazines, newspapers and articles.

Firstly, if your a follower of glinner (@twitter) then you’ve probably come across this story.
The Express newspaper ran a front page article about survivors of the Dunblane Massacre. The journalist, Paula Murray, decided to befriend some of the survivors on social network sites and then reported how they boasted about drunken nights out and generally acting like regular 18 year olds and that they should be ashamed of this.
I have no idea how she came up with this idea, where the article is really going or why the editor passed it (other then just to get sales numbers up) but it’s not journalism at all. I don’t even know what this piece is trying to get across.
Glinner goes in to this article much more then I do here and his blog entry is worth a read (if you haven’t seen it already)

The next article that got my attention is in regards to children’s safety on the game Animal Crossing for the Wii. This one stung a little more then the others being a gamer. A lot of the times when there is a killing the attacker is often linked to a game, and some times by the slightest degree of opportunity that the reported has. As a gamer it does, at times, feel like this kind of entertainment is being picked on unjustly.
If you’ve not played Animal Crossing on the Wii (or the DS, they’re both nearly identical) in the game you control your character in a small town, you look after your town, speak with villagers and decorate our house. It’s very much like a watered down SIMs. It’s a game for all ages and if your a follower of the series, like I am, you can find it quite addictive spending 15 and more minutes checking on your town everyday.
In this article on an American local ABC channel it is reporting

“Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force is warning of predators using games like, "Animal Crossing- City Folk," to target kids.”

Predators, as in paedophiles. Can you name any other kind of adult predator?

Without looking for an interview from anyone connect with Nintendo or the Animal Crossing game the article explains that

“When hooked up to the internet you can talk to anyone across the country. Kids playing the game have no control over what other players might be saying.  For example, the character we ran across could be the man in California police are warning about.”

What the report fails to acknowledge is that in order to be able speak and interact with other players on the game, around the country - and the World you - have to first swap friend codes with that person which means actually knowing who that person is in order to swap friend codes.
So there is no way of being able to interact with adult predator on the game unless you first know them.
The Internet Crimes Task Force then, out of the blue and based on nothing at all says

“"There is no reason an adult should have this game," says Andy Anderson, Midviallagers-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force.
Anderson says adults playing "animal crossing" and similar games are likely doing it for the wrong reasons.”

This is just plain idiocy. It’s hard to grasp just how stupid this comment is. I’m 27 (I think…yes, 27) and I enjoy playing this game. I know the missus, 26(almost-Missus), plays it, my sister, 24, likes playing it as does my mum, 21+ (just being nice to my mum there) and none of us are doing it for the wrong reason.
Which is suggesting that my and my family are all adult predators. Fail.
The problem is that newspapers and programs love these quotes and will play them often and a lot of the population won’t think of researcher this themselves and just follow the quote on some insane village witch-hunt.

Lastly is OK magazine. OK magazine have slowly been sliding down the morale ladder with regards to Jade Goody and her terminal illness.
Whereas most magazines, articles have kept things a bit to the minimum OK magazine seem to have struck a deal on reporting Jade’s death.
They’ve stuck pictures of her sons crying along with him in the headlines on the front page (in some strange way to sell papers, I haven’t a clue who is buying it for that story but they’ve got to be a bit of a wrongun)
But no OK magazine have just stepped totally over the edge by publishing a special edition Jade Goody Tribute to her Life 1981 to 2009 (issue 666, no less - popbitch 19/3/09).
She isn’t even dead yet. Could they have not waited? Are they that desperate to pick up what has to be slow sales that they are pre-empting her death.
When I first seen that linked BBC article I looked at the image first of the magazine and thought that Jade had in fact died. But I was wrong, possibly like many others that spotted the magazine at their local newsagents the morning it came out.

The problem is, is that this kind of reporting has been going on for over tens of years and won’t go away soon. But there has to be limits really to what reporters can get away with.
Have a story that is going somewhere.
Stories that interview people from both sides of your report.
Wait till your subject has died before releasing a tribute and have a bit of common sense.

I’d just like to add, a bit off topic, that I’ve reverted to the old comment style. I don’t know how many of you had been put off commenting due to the feature rich but undoubtedly cloggy, slow and clumsy previous comment system I had. I am very sorry.
I gave up yesterday when I got frustrated far too much trying to comment on my own blog.
Hopefully my pages should loads faster and you can leave your comments much easier. Unfortunately I have lost some of your comments. Not lost they just don't show. I know where to find them when I want to look back.
Please come back and comment.
First person to comment can have a signed MS paint drawing done, by myself, of whatever you wish.


LizSara said...

Woohoo paint drawing for me!

Anyhoodle, i totally agree with all of your points, especially about the tribute to a woman who isn't dead yet.

The front of one of the 'red tops' this morning was dominated by her with a side-note about hte tragic death of Natasha Richardson.


James said...

Damn you LizSara

Robbie said...

@LizSara I'm sure you spotted the link/photo doing the rounds this morning on twitter of the Sun's paid advert of Natasha Richardsons death on google. They are crazy.

And congrats on first posting.
What would you like drawn?

@James oooooo. Close.

Anonymous said...

Well, you know what I made of it all from the post I put up earlier.

LizSara - Good point about Natasha Richardson. Well made.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Oh word - I wanted the drawing.

And I'm glad you've changed your comments back. It never let me have "Jo" as my name, because it was a minimum of 3 characters. Booooooooooooooooooo

Agree with the journo points, especially the Dunblane one. There's a great link on MJohnsons post about it in the comments, check it out. Basically someone raided HER facebook and posted a load of pictures of her boasting about drinking and how pissed she was blah's great.

Robbie said...

@Jo As it's you and as you at least left some comments on the old broken system I'll do you a MS Paint drawing.
What would you like drawn?

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

A pig.

Robbie said...

Ok, if I draw you a pig I dont want any of that psych stuff on it. No matter how curly it's tail may be or stumpy it's legs are, it's just a pig and nothing more.

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