Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Media

One of our fatal flaws as human beings is how attracted we are to bad news. It is most troubling to see that we as a species do not take an interest in what is good in our world and celebrate it. I would, as an anti-journalism journalist, like to point out that a great deal of our fascination with the shocking and horrific events that take place in our society can be blamed on the media.
The media have an awful habit of reducing the focus on stories about triumph and success, whilst maximising the gloomier aspects of our world. One such example that I have found that the media have treated poorly on every account, is that of Caster Semenya. The media have put all their energy into the debate over whether she is a woman or not; whereas there has been little focus on her achievements at the World Athletics Championships that took place in August. After our dismal performance at last years Olympics, one would think that the media would make more of a hype about how our athletes did in Berlin last month. But of course due to our desire to feed on the misfortunes of others, journalists have spent the last couple of weeks questioning the gender of an athlete.
Not to mention these questions around Semenya's gender have been as subtle as Michael Jackson's plastic surgery. This poor woman is a human being. All that she has done was win a race in record time for her country and as the public we have celebrated her success by attacking her looks and gender.
This poor performance from the media saddens me. What society are we living in when we value hardships and downplay success?

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