Care with the Media
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Graham Allen Bsc (Hons) Psychology, Dip Psych, PGCE, Reg MBACP (Accred)
10th November, 2009
We are told we get the Media we deserve. But we need to be careful about exposing ourselves to everything that purports to be news. I awoke recently to a news story involving a letter of apology, Afghanistan, death, bereavement and a national daily newspaper. What occurred to me was that there were complex agendas in operation with this news story. Listening to a plethora of diverse viewpoints via radio, was only informative to an extent to a story which had many invested dimensions to it. After a while I needed to switch off and step back - I found myself mentally too caught up in the many offered opinions. I felt a low key sadness at the way an original tragic event had been used across such diverse groups.
Sometimes we need to watch ourselves - how much do we get “caught up” in what is often a very negative and even duplicitous agenda via a news story? In some ways the negativity and indignity of the reaction itself is compelling but the cost may be a lack of real empathy, goodwill and understanding of real complex issues. When really is indignation appropriate bearing in mind it is used to fuel many a story in the media.
This summer and now autumn have seen many judgemental, indignant responses to some common human failures and frailties.
Psychotherapy and Counselling in many ways asks us to avoid scapegoating and look at our own role in the theatre of life - do we really need to be so indignant and blaming of others?
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