Is this the new normal? Or is this what it’s always been like and I hadn’t realised? Just one news story taking over bit by bit, destroying the variety of information and killing our brain with mind numbing repetition.
Brexit was first, fucking years of the stuff. The election was heavy duty because it was basically an extension of the EU argument with the added annoyance or Boris being in charge. And now this fucking disease.
I am by no means trying to suggest that this shouldn’t be the biggest news story. The fact that we have had to stay indoors for 2 months is a big deal – it is always going to make some headlines. I also think the constant analysis of the government is essential because their decisions are so important. So it’s a toughy really.
With all this in mind though, the obsession that has grown over the last few days regarding Cummings has been so intensely tedious that we really need to freshen things up. It has opened up wounds of the dark side of journalism that people really are sick off. Door stepping in particular turns me off, unnecessary and inhuman at the best of times.
I am all for the rights of a journalist to keep asking the same questions until whoever is being interrogated decides they have to tell the truth. But when I see Sky News waiting for Cummings’ parents to leave their home to ask questions it makes it really hard to defend them. That is the tactics of the rags, The Sun and the gossip columns. Standards must be set for the public to buy into the profession fully once more.
It’s a conflicting topic for me because I have been very frustrated with the new ‘anti-media’ rhetoric that is growing at the moment. People becoming so frustrated with negativity they would rather things are just not printed. It might be just me but that is a very counter-productive way of thinking; ignoring mistakes to force a faux-balance for arguments sake or to protect the feelings of the government. When did our leaders become such wimps that we are put in a position to feel sorry for them if they are caught out making mistakes? Or alternatively make ourselves feel bad for their inability to lead.
We are all living in a groundhog world and things aren’t helped by the amount of time we have to consume the news. Constant scrolling, daily briefing, morning headlines, late night Twitter. Our brains are full with the same shite every day and we are getting angry at the people that provide the information – often taking our attention away from the truth they are bringing.
So it is with this that I must plead with whoever is reading this to not turn on the ‘media’ (whatever that means) for being so boring. Not yet anyway. I know they said the same about Brexit but this really is a big story and just because it’s everywhere doesn’t mean they are only looking for the negatives. And to the media, both professional and less so, I plead with you to prove me right. We need some variety to crack our brains back into gear and that is up to you.
There was a bloody cyclone in India last week, the worst there has been for a decade. I know it’s miles away and we have our own problems but it didn’t even make a ripple in the British news schedule. Am I the only person who cares how they are struggling to cope with a lockdown and a super storm at the same time!? How horrible has it become that I am searching out for tragic (yet interesting) news from abroad to act as a palate cleanser to this monotonous nightmare.
So this might seem like a bit of a picky request from a humble blogger to the ‘real’ journalists out there but this needs to be your time to shine. Think of different questions, use different tactics, someone else is always going to find out those numbers so don’t follow the same routine. This should be one of journalism’s finest moments but we are perilously close to falling down a dark road of frustration. Keep up those standards and keep working for the people, even if they decide they don’t like you for a bit. Make the news interesting again. Be more like Emily Maitlis basically.