Jacintha Saldanha made one mistake, she answered a phone call. The phone call that had eventually led to her death. Had did that happen? From a simple call to suicide?
The question: Is the media to be considered a boon or a bane, is still up for debate after years of its entrance. The media now encompasses all spheres concerning information distribution- like the television; radio; Internet and so many others. In many ways we’d be blind without the media. How would we know about the atrocities happening in Afghanistan, the effect of recession on the world economy, or the plight of starving children in Africa? It would be the equivalent of living under a rock if the media didn’t exist. We want to know, no, we need to know how people live in the different corners of the world. The media, therefore, serves the purpose of letting us know, but is it really necessary to know even the most trivial of matters? What so-and-so person wore to what event? Why make even the tiniest things look fascinating?
Going back to Jacintha’s case, the media has a definitive role here. She received a prank call all the way from Australia, where two radio jockeys posed as the Queen who enquired about the Duchess of Cambridge who’d been in the hospital, purportedly admitted for morning sickness. The nurse hadn’t suspected anything and had forwarded the call to the attending nurse. This then made the news, and everything blew out of proportion. The media then replayed every last detail of the prank call and made it sound far more sensational, than the innocuous call that it was. Later, news got around that the nurse who’d attended the call had killed herself. This added to the whole fiasco’s drama considerably.
There are other times when media portrays tragedies, while laying on the melodrama too thick. Every story caught in the media’s snare plays on their public’s sympathetic side, trying to be sensitive about the issue. What they don’t realise is that continued and prolonged sensitivity could turn into insensitivity quickly. Not too quick to blame though, they need to do it, to capture interest and on humanitarian grounds, help could be given if the right person heard the right news.
On a final note, I don’t think we can get through our day to day life without media. It would be like being stranded on an island without the media. However, the media needs to be reminded that private matters should remain private and that only those matters which the public needs to know, be aired.
Courtney from Study Moose