What is it with us and the news? We feel the need to be on top of things as one can’t be a woman of the world if one doesn’t know what goes on in the world. News does not only inform, it also entertains. News gives us a hardcore soap opera from the real world we wouldn’t believe if it were just fiction. I choose my daily news diet just as much as the news is chosen for me. What I don’t hear or read about doesn’t happen.
As a true consumer I savoured the news bombshell that was dropped at the Levenson enquiry by the deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police. She informed Lord Leveson and the rest of the world that the Sun newspaper has been making use of an extensive network of informers, including public officials, across all sectors of public life. These informers were paid thousands and tens of thousands of pounds in exchange for confidential information. O yeah, and Charlotte Church settled with News International for a record amount of £600,000 on the same day. It’s big, it’s scandalous, it’s horrendous, it’s delicious. How deep does this go? How far does it reach? Who knows what? Doesn’t it prove that corruption is everywhere? How can UK journalism have sunk this low?
And as dirty as some factions within the industry seem to be, where the end of selling the story seem to justify all means, the schizophrenic state of the profession is displayed in the main course that follows. On the other side of planet journalism one puts oneself at risk to report on the world’s injustice and inconvenient truths. After my starter of the News International bombshell, came a heavy main course in the form of a report about Syria’s civil conflict. A report about the ugly features of human existence, about dirty politics, state violence, anger and above all people’s determination. I aim to digest, but it doesn’t go down that well. There is no room left for pudding.
For the people in Homs and across Syria, I’ve been made witness of your horrendous ordeal. And I wonder: Is your pain lessened because I have knowledge of it? What would be worse: Not knowing the pain that is inflicted upon you or knowing and not acting? The world condemns, looks on and does little. Despite being abandoned by the world your spirit remains strong and that is all that seems left to you. If only we, the world, had your courage and strength to get you out of that tragic mess. In the mean time we keep consuming your and other people’s misery.
top image: ynaija.com
image right: mideastposts.com