Volume 93, Issue 19

Thursday, September 30, 1999

bandwagon


OPINIONS

Unionization, only with the stipulations

Campus tank a symbol of life, preservation

Tanks cease cleansing

Driver's ed needs some schooling

Public lust setting a media standard

Public lust setting a media standard



What would newspapers do without serial rapists?

Nothing generates readership like a bonafide threat to the public that'll scare the crap out of everybody. And as the newspaper war in Toronto continues to heat up, nothing could make publishers happier than a sordid melodrama to get people reading the news.

A TV screenwriter couldn't have dreamed up a better plot. A sexual predator attacks women of various ages in their own homes, manages to allude police and creates a city wide manhunt.

The police then release a composite sketch that the African-American community says targets them specifically.

You've got crime, violation, racism, family turmoil and public hysteria. Sounds like the latest Hollywood crime drama set to hit screens in the fall.

That touch of reality makes you feel as if it could happen to you – you could be one of the characters in this play. And the newspapers thrive on this, using it to sell copies and make money. But why do they do this? Why do they only cover the sensational and horrible?

You, the newspaper buying community, generally buy more papers when the story involves sex, violence or some kind of cruel and unusual punishment.

But who can blame you, that stuff is far more interesting.

Maybe the only good news is bad news, but that's because the consumer is asking for it. Despite all the lobby groups who cry foul, the public can only blame themselves for the current state of the newspaper business.

If people didn't buy the newspaper every time a murder appeared on the cover, editors and publishers would lose money and as a result change their ways.




To Contact The Opinions Department:
gazette.opinions@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1999