Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Swastikas and Flat Earth News

On Monday all three main TV channels in NZ led their evening news bulletins with an item about a group of Auckland high school boys who while visiting a WWII display in the Auckland Museum, posed in front of a Nazi flag bowing to and saluting it, and then posted their photos on Facebook. "Some pictures were too lewd for us to show," proclaimed Prime TV. To this writer the photos seemed more like mocking the flag than praising it, but of course that is not how the TV channels presented it - they proceeded to imply that Nazism is rife in that particular school at least, if not in every other.

You can't help but wonder the basis of news editors' priorities and how much you can trust news media to report what is really significant and important. Clearly the TV news is seen as "sex shock scandal horror probe" entertainment, thus ensuring good ratings.

The point is examined at length in the book Flat Earth News by Nick Davies, who makes an indepth analysis of how much "news" in the UK is triva, distorted and manufactured to make good reading - and how much really important news is ignored, and the reasons behind it all. The scene is disturbing to say the least, and don't think it is any better here - it isn't. This highly recommended read is available from the transpress shop.

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