Monday, January 07, 2008

panorama drama

An utterly absurd edition of Panorama is currently airing on BBC1. What annoys me is that the topic being discussed - grown men grooming children online - is obviously in the public interest, and yet the delivery is so utterly absurd and so clearly designed to elicit maximum impact. A show which purports to tell the truth about contemporary issues is categorically failing in its purpose if it is forced to heavily dramatise and editorialise every journalistic insight.

The whole thing is shocking - presenting, Jeremy Vine is pure Chris Morris; every sentence pronounced with heavy portentous gravity, and when genuinely distressing scenarios are recreated on-screen, the results are calamitous. Every voice which represents a sex offender is delivered swamped in echo; every offender observed typing furtively in a darkened room, his heavy breathing insinuating danger.

"Do not trust your children when using the Internet", Vine wheezes. The whole thing stinks. Of course we must - as parents and as children - be careful, but there is nothing to be gained by presenting a serious subject, as this surely is, in such an ill-considered and alarmist fashion.

1 comment:

morgan said...

I couldn't agree more. Programmes of this ilk - on many differing subjects and clearly made with shock tactics in mind - do more harm than good. It is cheap scaremongering in the hope of creating a moral panic so the programme makers can feel vindicated and pump out more dross of similar investigative quality. It is a self-perpetuating circle and belittles the real issues involved; frightening people out of considered and thoughtful response to an extremely serious, but also very limited, problem and applying a sledge hammer solution. Its these kind of attitudes from the Media agencies, of whom many people (I included) hope to be able to trust for an informed and measured insight into such issues, which has got us into the unforgivable state we currently have with "Terror" legislation and will have the same effect on many other areas of our lives.