Exploitation of tragedy

Most days I read the Victorian section of The Age online (no, that doesn’t mean I am reading about Tony Abbott’s election policies, it is referring to the state of Victoria, not the era).

Today when I looked, there were 30 articles available. Nineteen of them were related to the tragic death of Jill Meagher (precipitated by the killer appearing in court for a pre-sentencing hearing). That’s right, nineteen.

Granted, what happened to that poor girl was a tragedy (and I really feel for her family, having to go through such a terrible loss). However, there is definitely a line between a respected newspaper reporting on a news item, and a slowly dying newspaper clutching at any tragedy or hint of moral outrage to exploit in a desperate attempt to stay relevant.

They even had an article talking about how it caused a “burst of outrage in the twittersphere“. How is seven quotes from random peoples’ tweets a “news” article? The mere fact that people have opinions is not news. The fact is, if you give enough people the ability to quickly and easily voice stream-of-consciousness opinions to the world, then of course you will get a bunch of people bleating their outrage over every little thing that briefly crosses their mind (heaven help us if they actually bother to start a blog!).

I wonder how long I will keep reading The Age online.

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