Tuesday 20 May 2008

If there’s no one to see it, has it really happened?

Aung San Suu Kyi
If a tree falls in the woods, and there's no one around to hear it, has it made a sound? If Channel 5 News has no pictures is it worth reporting? Judging from the few seconds afforded in one weekend report to the current crisis in Burma, the answer from a Channel 5 point of view would appear to be 'No'. In the same report they did thankfully manage several minutes on the China earthquake, they had endless pictures of collapsed buildings to perk their interest, but undermined their dubious credibility with a few minutes on a YouTube video posted by Pete Doherty and Amy Winehouse (talented people wasting their lives always draws in the red-top readership).

If only Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had been born with her feet the wrong way around, or had an unusual eating disorder, then Channel 5 might have shown more interest. Shoddy television news reporting only encourages, and in their minds justifies, the isolationist tendencies of Burma's military leaders. As it is we are once again reliant on decent newspaper coverage to inform us of what is happening; it's a shame none of us read any more.


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