A Respectful Media This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
     The recent death of Pope John Paul II caused not only a great sadness, but also a big hubbub in the media. Cameras showed people piling into Vatican City, mourners wiping tears as they fingered their rosaries, and ... excited newscasters? Bubbly women with hair-sprayed locks were practically jumping out of their shoes to share the news of the death of a religious leader. The media made a complete comedy of the Pope’s death. A friend commented that it was almost unbearable to watch TV when the Pope was ill. “They were practically egging him on to die!” he commented.

The truth is, this isn’t the first time the media has taken a tragic situation as a great new opportunity, it happens every day. Deaths are either glossed over (if the people are “unimportant”) or are endlessly discussed until the reverence has been lost.

In November, a student at my school died in a plane crash that killed his father and two companions. School was a somber place, everyone was devastated. The thing that might have taken our mind off the issue, a nice hour of TV, was filled with reports of his tragic death. I didn’t want to come home anymore because I knew that I’d just be accosted with the fact again. It seemed as if the news stations were excited about getting the story out, and the fake sympathy hurt as much as the actual death.

The media should show some compassion for the events that they are covering. Though everything may seem fictional when simply read from a teleprompter, these reports are about real people. Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt are real people. We followed the updates of their separation for weeks; it was simply the hottest news. But this is a marriage falling apart, not a birthday party announcement!

I’m calling for more respect from my TV set, and so should you. We aren’t living in the middle ages, when public hangings were a form of entertainment; we live in the twenty-first century and should pride ourselves on being a more compassionate society. How, though, can we be called compassionate if we have newscasters relishing the death of the pope, the dissolution of a marriage, the death of a 16-year-old boy? Respect for life should be a necessary requisite in each of the stories that come on the news, not popcorn.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

willow13 said...
Dec. 16, 2010 at 9:27 pm
totally agree! good job
 
serena said...
May 3, 2010 at 7:03 pm
true- and not just television, either. magazines scream about people breaking up and dying and infidelity-- things that ought to  be personal. newspapers (maybe not all reporters, but some) want to talk about things we don't always want to know. but it's more interesting than what we should know, and personal news sells magazines, so we don't get rid of it. Fair and biased news forever!
 
kaddi19 said...
Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:13 pm
loved the story and it really makes you think are the storys they tell reallly all that important, and if they are why dont they show real emotion towards them.????? :):):):)
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback