Monday, August 28, 2006

A Question of Priorities.

I'm skeptical of claims of media bias. For every claim that the North American media is a bastion of liberalism(in the modern American abuse of the word, of course) I could find you a claim that it's a tool of the corporate elites. But I'm far less skeptical of accusations of exploitation and sensationalism. A classic example occured tonight at the start of local CTV affiliate CFQC's six o'clock news broadcast. They pushed aside what was obviously intended to be their top story, a report on how a local taxi driver helped police capture a robber, to give us "breaking news" about the JonBenet Ramsey case. Why? The story has no direct relevance to the citizens of Saskatoon. It didn't even occur in Canada. Yet CFQC's news department decided this was so important a story that it should be covered immediately. Call me cynical, but such a move seems a rather blatant example of pandering to prurience. Of course it's just the latest example of what's been going in with the Ramsey case for ten years. Some of the coverage over the years has seemed pretty damn close to abuse of the poor girl. And why? It's safe to say dozens of little girls were murdered in the US in 1996, yet that case was the one that got all the press. But one assumes most of those cases didn't have various elements that made for easy use by the media, like the artfully done photos, video footage, and so on of JonBenet Ramsey, the odd to outsiders world of child beauty pageants she was involved in, and other details that have made for tabloid fodder, whether it was the actual tabloids exploiting it or not.

No comments: