Saturday, January 15, 2011
Squeezing Every Last Drop
Like any disaster covered by television news networks, the Queensland floods bring together stories of drama and heartbreak and courage and strange twists of fate. For journalists, there's not much to do, other than show what is happening and get out of the way.
But that's not enough for our networks. After all, the story isn't really about the floods. The story is about Kochie at the floods or Mel at the floods. The awful events are merely a backdrop for the stars, as they roll up their Country Road chinos and stand in the sludge for 10-minutes for their piece to camera before jumping in the helicopter back to Palm Beach.
The showbiz element of commercial television might be acceptable if these professional poseurs had some worthwhile observations to make. But as always, nearly everything that comes out of their mouths is a either a pious platitude, a statement of the bleeding obvious or a banal and condescending paen to all things Aussie Aussie Aussie.
Journalism used to be about the story, not about the journalist. Instead, as has become depressingly obvious, these momentous news stories are merely another branding exercise. Are you are watching the floods on Seven or Nine or ABC24? And just to prove that our coverage is the best, we'll put together a heart-rending little tele-movie promo, with slow-mo footage, an echoing narration, a pleading piano soundtrack and stick our logo all over the top of it.
Surely, it can't be long till they hire Kennedy Miller, or the modern equivalent, to begin pre-production on 'Deluge', a three-part mini-series with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. Oh, Australia.
See Also: 'Addicted to Disaster P*rn' - Michael Mullins (Eureka Street)
Posted by Mr D at 1:33 PM