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Wednesday 8 November 2017

Sun Sick Suicide Disgrace

The Samaritans’ website right now tellsLorna Fraser, Samaritans' Media Adviser describes speaking to editors as a ‘great opportunity to share our media guidelines and free training and advice services with local and regional editors this week, thanks to IPSO and Dept. of Journalism at Derby University. It’s really encouraging to see press placing such importance on responsible reporting of suicide’”. Tell us more.
Reporting on those who may have taken their own lives is something that should be done thoughtfully and sensitively. As the Samaritans also point out, “Research shows that inappropriate reporting of suicide may lead to imitative or ‘imitational’ behaviour, so Samaritans publishes Media Guidelines for Reporting Suicide and has been working with the media for more than two decades, providing expert advice on the portrayal of suicide”.

Moreover, “The media can also help encourage people who are struggling to reach out for support and raise awareness of sources of help, such as Samaritans”. Sadly, this idea has not penetrated the world inhabited by the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, and especially their smirking deputy political editor Steve Hawkes.

Hence today’s disgracefully insensitive front page splashAxed Labour Minister Dies … RIDDLE OF ‘SEX PEST’ SUICIDE … He’d begged party to tell him claims”. This is about Carl Sergeant, who was a minister in the Welsh Assembly Government, who had been sacked as a minister and suspended from the party after allegations were made against him. But for the Murdoch goons, he is a convenient excuse to bash Labour.

You think I jest? “The Sun can reveal solicitors acting for him wrote to Labour bosses over the weekend to warn he was suffering from distress and anxiety over not knowing details of the claims against him … A source said: ‘Labour were warned it was affecting his mental health’ … All that tragic Mr Sargeant had been told on Friday was that the allegations centred on ‘groping, unwanted attention and inappropriate touching’”.
The usual Sun drivel, along with the inevitable “A source said”, otherwise known as the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker making it up as they go along. Also in this vein is the ubiquitous “insider”. “One Welsh Labour insider last night said: ‘Carl’s death has shown that in its frenzy to be politically correct the Labour Party has lost all sense of justice’”. Yes, someone took his own life and it’s all the Labour Party’s fault.

Nothing to do with the Murdoch goons, and their fellow press boot boys, laying into Labour for not taking the action they are now taking, then. The desperation of this article is then made clear when Hawkes turns to Tory MP Nigel Evans for comment. That would be the same Nigel Evans who may be keen to take the heat off himself because his name, whisper it quietly, appears on That Spreadsheet. He could have said nothing, but didn’t.

Once again, any sensitivity in reporting suicide is thrown out of the window in the dash for sales and clicks. And IPSO can make as many gestures as it likes in support of the Samaritans - because, at the end of the day, the only gesture that counts is the two-fingered one being made by the Murdoch goons to everyone else. Don’t buy the Sun.


Gonzoland said...

No doubt that media hacks didn't hound Carl Sergeant and his family is there?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I stopped reading when I saw the words "press" and "responsible reporting" nearby.

There ain't no setch hybrid critter. We all know it.

Unknown said...

I first thought that headline was a spoof. I couldn'tbelieve they would stoop that low, but of course they would. Disgusting gutter politics thinly disguised as 'journalism'.

Sam Best said...

The Sun, Mail etc are beneath contempt. But did this hapless politician write a letter to Labour officials or not and that is a reasonable question?
That surely needs answering. Was he thrown under the bus or not? And if so is it Labour who are indirectly responsible for gutter tabloids being able to exploit the situation.
I am as left wing as they come and fought all my life for the things Corbyn has now accepted as policy (except for the idiotic Brexit) but there does seem to be a rigid side to the 'left' where they simply will not accept the notion that false accusations can be easily made to destroy a reputation and a person's life.
This is pretty evident the way Tom Watson MP has never been sanctioned by his supporters for inflaming the false allegations that led to so many being falsely accused. Trial by media is ugly and a scourge but Labour supporters can indulge in a fierce tribalism that is detrimental to the party.
So I find myself defending hapless old Tories unfairly accused and even more annoying is the fact I hated them when they had power.
These rampant accusations will get worse. If Labour thinks it will be immune from it ( and the police will be in the firing line as well) they are fooling themselves. When these witch hunts and trials by media are out of control they sweep up everyone in their path.
This website does a great job but when it comes down to nay matter where they may or may not be a false accusation, it avoids the issue always and seeks another 'angle'.