Saturday, March 20, 2010

Politics Economics Religion and Sex

There used to be a rule, unwritten I think, that when invited over for a meal   conversation should not include any of the above topics.   Such rule might  simply be good manners for dining with  acquantances  rather than friends yet heated conversations with acquaintances can lead to friendships.

If today's newspapers (in the UK) adopted a similar rule  my initial view was that they would have rather little to talk about - the Arts and Sciences pehaps.

Yet on reflection,  many intrigung articles currently lost in newspapers' welter of idle gossip, calumny and detraction  would, if the page acreage on scandals was slightly reduced,  become clearer. For example today's Independent apart from its usual commentary on the failings of the catholic church  to react properly to child abuse scandals,  has  a piece about an Australian politician on the election trail  being stalked by an alleged mistress,  one entitled; "A testosterone-filled brain cannot cope with an Oscar winning wife", and another "Srebenica massacre was fault of gay troops". It may be right  for institutions like  the Church to be made to hold their heads in shame for the reprehensible conduct of  their pastors even though some sections of the media  seem almost  to relish their  repeated pilloring. However also in same newspaper if reading fatigue has not already been brought on by wading through the other stuff, is a very interesting analysis and commentary about an art exhibition in France entitled "Murder in the Musee d'Orsay" with some intriguing pictures of talanted artists' works to illustrate the article.

Sometimes surely the achievements of men and women and most of mankind's innate good intentions could take precedence in the media over  our failings, weaknesses and  actions we are ashamed of.

Economics  and politics;  given that we are on the verge of a General Election  comment and reports  about political developments are potentially very worthwhile but again the newspapers seem to relish the negatives more than the positives.

There really is a difficult call to be made between reducing public debt on the one hand and not causing mass unemployment on the other. Both of the main parties have interesting arguments eg increasing taxes and reducing public  expenditure or  stimulating the economy by pumping money in somehow. Yet many newspapers appear to give more room to  articles about Lord Ashcroft funding the Tories or the BA union Unite funding the Labour party than they do to analysing the important questions of how  and who best to govern the country in this time  of potentially dire financial straits.

The risk is   that the media by focussing on  the pilloring,  the prurient and the negatives rather than highlighting  many of mankind's great qualities, the fundamental issues and positives,  will leave  readers none the wiser - the very antitheis of what  good reporting is surely meant to be about?

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