There have been two very different stories which have hit the headlines recently yet both have led me to ask some questions about their positioning within the media. Both seem somehow, in some way, to have missed the point.
The first is the Leveson inquiry. Unless you have been living in a hole for the past six months plus, you will know that phone hacking, ‘close’ relationships, text messages and Christmas / office parties have all been discussed at length during this trial, leading to days of coverage across all media.
The inquiry itself is enough to shock and presumably has led many to question what has been going on and how the media machine ever thought it would be possible to carry on regardless, knowing how information was being ‘researched’.
It isn’t the political element to this story that shocked me most – but the fact that the presenters on the news on Friday morning were questioning how Rebekah Brooke would cope when asked direct and ‘difficult’ questions.
No one seemed to realise that as former editor of the News of the World she is one of the best trained people to handle this situation. She was surrounded by high profile comments and good and bad practice to call upon, while also being media trained to within an inch of her life. If there was anyone who was perfectly capable of dealing with this fall out it was her. People who work in the media are perfectly aware of the way it works and there was never any doubt she would provide very factual comments, which would go into as little detail as possible, while ensuring she ‘answered the question’.
The second story to catch my eye was the final of Britain’s Got Talent. I have to admit that this show is my guilty pleasure. I think the auditions are simply hilarious and the talent is something that we should all be proud of. Although I thought all of the final acts were deserving of being there – I don’t believe that dancing dog Pudsey should have won.
Before you get cross and ask what I’m talking about – of course a performing pouch and their adoring owner should take first place – what got me was the way that a reference to animal abuse was used not once but twice during the judging.
Although I find animal cruelty abhorrent, I didn’t think the reference was necessary and would go as far as to say that as a result more votes were generated for that reason than for the talent itself. In my opinion Charlotte and Jonathan were outstanding, a true celebration of British talent and two young people who for all the right reasons deserve to be rewarded for their efforts and their amazing performance.
So what do you think? Is there news value in questioning a former editor’s ability to cope with serious but direct questioning and what about that dancing dog – it will be interesting to see how both stories continue to hit the headlines and what angles are taken forward from here.
There will be little doubt that Rebekah Brooks will trend again across social media today as she finds out if she will face charges but what about that dog. One suggestion is that as a result of half a million Pudsey will finally drop his owner and take to the circuit as a solo act. Hey, it can’t be any more bizarre than some of things that are currently hitting the headlines!