The Media Glass House appreciates how difficult it must be to fill a 60-minute news service at 6pm each and every night.
Take Channel 9’s Sydney news for example. Sure, you can rely on some footage from a member of the public of a vehicle on fire on the Mwhy, even if the klutz has filmed it in portrait instead of landscape. Or a two-car bingle on the Princess Highway which shouldn’t have even got a run seeing only some vehicle panels were hurt but it is the weekend, reporter numbers are down and, crucially, there is FOOTAGE that will gobble up 19 seconds! Only 3581 seconds to go.
But MGH does pose a reasonable question: should some things be shown as news just to get the hour done and dusted? Georgie Gardner introduced a segment the other day about a group of young men carrying on like pork chops by walking and sitting on the ledge of a high-rise inner-city hotel.
It’s what “invincible” and “bullet-proof “young men tend to do more than women, which helps explain why the Aussie male’s life expectancy is just over four years less than a female’s.
But what is the benefit of showing such dare-devil silliness? Surely it must attract copycats, especially as the lure of their daring-do possibly being on the 6pm news could easily see them splattered on the ground below and unable to watch their 15 seconds of fame.
TGH left it too late to snare an image of that report but we found another Nine (not necessarily shown in Sydney) story on January 5 of a woman showing, by hanging off a balcony on the Sunshine Coast for a photo (above), that not only young men are stupid and reckless.
The picture doesn’t show how high up she is but trust us: one little slip and her performance would have been ground-breaking! She would have bounced before settling back down as a pancake.
TGH just thinks it’s a bit odd that, for decades now, it’s a given that news reports of a death by obvious suicide avoid the word “suicide” lest others give it a try too. Such deaths are not suspicious and Lifeline and Beyond Blue are mentioned.
But are young people being ape-shit stupid and one slip away from splat fair game? Is that the TV news producer’s creed: Give them the lead until they bleed?
Show them showing off until they shuffle off this mortal coil?