Saturday, December 8, 2012

Media madness

As the world goes on a twitter and MSM frenzy over two Australian DJ's, a hoax call and a dead nurse (why was she on switchboard duty anyway, don't we have proper jobs for them to do?) I suspect that a lot of bad news is being gratefully swept under the carpet government style as it was with the Savile case. There appear to have been a lot of good days to bury bad news recently. Not that this will come as any sort of comfort to the parents of Jacintha Saldanha who fell for the hoax and deserve some sympathy for their loss, but I do wonder how the hospital and the media + twitterati's pressure in keeping the case in the news led to her state of despair.
You see, it was a joke, yes a joke in bad taste, but still a joke, frankly I've heard of worse prank calls, listened to the odd few on local radio. But this one involved a 'royal' so we have massive media exposure and someone who made a mistake died as a consequence. However this is a godsend to the people pushing the Leveson recommendations to control the media ever more closely with draconian laws designed to keep the truth (along with other activities) away from the general public.
New laws may be needed to ‘civilise the internet’, protect private lives and prevent ‘mob rule’, Lord Justice Leveson has suggested.
The judge, speaking in public for the first time since his 2,000-page report into the Press was published, launched a broadside against the prospect of people facing ‘trial by Twitter’.
Critics have suggested that the Leveson report’s recommendations risk shackling a shrinking print media while doing nothing to address a ‘Wild West’ online culture in which innocent people’s reputations are trashed every day.
I suppose the question that should be asked is who decides who is innocent? After all, such controls as posited by Leveson would also protect the guilty too. It's all about control, there have been any number of recent cases where the idiots of the ever repeating meme have fallen foul of those who believe silence is golden. What Leveson appears to be proposing though is some form of gossip regulation where speculation and rumour will be subject to ever tighter control. Anyone here willing to bet that any such legislation (and good luck trying to control the internet of the world) will immediately suffer from 'mission creep' after all, that's what happened with RIPA, indeed has happened with a few laws supposed to protect the rest of us from all sorts of dangers yet have been used to control us instead.
In the end, regulation will only be used to protect the 'guilty' not the innocent, it's how these people who legislate's mind work. They don't really care about the likes of Jacintha Saldanha, all they want to do is keep their foibles out of the public view. So they'll use the likes of the crass twitterati to justify their legislation, if it wasn't Jacintha Saldanha it would have been someone else eh Lord McAlpine?

3 annotations:

Anonymous said...

Let's not lose sight of the fact that we don't know for sure that the nurse's death was suicide. Neither do we know the circumstances of her life, therefore it is unwise to jump to conclusions at this stage. The hoax phone call may have had no influence on the tragedy for all we know.


banned said...

"why was she on switchboard duty anyway"
Seems that out of hours the receptionist goes home and nursing staff are expected to deal with phone calls.
That is how the Aussue Japesters got past Royal security protocols, duh!
(That is the first time that I used "duh!" on a blog and hope I got it right).

Everything you say about mission creep is correct though there was heartening news today that the DVLA has barred "hundreds" of public bodies from access to its database because of misuse and abuse including the Sussex Police Service and Transport for London.

New Year said...

so much media thinks its ok to humiliate people then say its ok your on blah blah,oh look you messed yourself on blah blah,when your embarrassed or humiliated or scared to death its not funny,but they make their money selling your pain