Saturday, 27 April 2019

Why are some killings newsworthy and not others?

Friends in low places

The media will only show what looks "good" 
on the screen.

Foreigners kill themselves and each other in vast numbers all the time, dozens upon dozens of them every day. Nancy Mitford's character was perfectly right, abroad really is unutterably bloody and foreigners are genuinely fiends. Actually, to be completely honest, quite a lot of us are fiends too; one has only to look at the number of people knifed to death in the capital, which London Mayor Sadiq Khan aspires to see fall in a decade or so, for proof of that. Why, then, are some of these killings considered newsworthy and others not? Are not all lives equal? Not in the media, no they aren't. For media types people are worth only as much as they are worth to the media types themselves or as much as they think they are, or might be, worth to their audiences. Hence, those who are unknown to either the media or the audience are only newsworthy if they can be made known to them for some specific reason – is it someone related to somebody who is known, is it a sexy girl who has been photographed in little or nothing, is there a good picture that can illustrate a point the media wish to make?

            Readers will be aware that the death of one man has been used by the media to demand a change in the foreign policy of many nations.  Why? Simply because Jamal Khashoggi was one of their own and they feel it personally. Jimmy K, as he was widely known, was a friend of the vast number of foreign correspondents and Middle East specialists who are on the circuit together, meeting up and hanging out in wherever the action happens to be, filming their pieces to camera or writing their copy. The media have themselves been struck by his death, and they mean to move the earth in reply, to show their strength and take revenge. They mean to set an example and prove that be ye never so high, the media are above you.

             I do not mean to imply that I approve of Khashoggi's killing, or support the Saudi regime in any way; it is an appalling regime and there are any number of reasons to oppose it and bring it down, not least that it is essentially responsible for the development and propagation of Islamic extremism and is the single greatest obstacle to the restoration of an Islam grounded in our common Graeco-Roman inheritance. I merely point out that the media have no interest in such serious arguments, they are motivated solely by the superficialities of who knows whom and what looks good on screen.

By Prayer Crusader St Philip Howard.

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