Reflections on ‘the media’

For those giving out about how ‘the media’ have reported the deaths of the Hawe family. Can I just point out that the media are reporting the views and quotes from family & friends who knew the people involved. If for example as I read today, that Clodagh Hawe’s mother (and Alan Hawe’s mother-in-law) has decided to forgive Alan Hawe on the grounds that she knew him & felt he was obviously disturbed when he committed the murders – who is anyone else to say, no you can’t do that – this man shouldn’t be portrayed in a “well-respected” manner?

I don’t think that depression or any mental illness should ever be used as justification for taking the life of another person. I’m glad this debate is happening. Although at the end of the day, nobody has the answers. Nobody. But the newspapers still have to be written.

Of course, different publications/media have different editorial slants/agendas but ‘the media’ are not some homogenous force. They’re people too. Sometimes they get it wrong & deserve to be criticised – fair enough.

What I don’t agree with is the way the likes of Twitter creates a narrative that if we’re any way progressive or intelligent, we SHOULD accept & agree with – all neatly packaged up with a pithy hashtag. And if we don’t agree & show how smart we are by getting on-board, we’re probably a bit stupid… No, everyone has their own mind and we shouldn’t be afraid to use it.

(Originally posted on my private Facebook page on 2 September 2016)

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