Up until recent times I have found it hard to consider the notion of many in this country that the news is not effective in getting our sympathy. However, the recent events in the Middle East have had me reconsidering my opinion.
Many of the people who I speak to daily, no matter the socioeconomic group or age, believe there is any real purpose in watching the news. They prefer to listen to the news on the radio or read about it on online blogs or in newspapers. Perhaps this is unsurprising given the pictures that are now far too common on the daily news.
Every day there is a new piece on the saga that is the Middle East, I will be the first to admit that it is a cause of necessary worry, but there are limits to what can be palatable on the news. At first the distressing scenes in Gaza, Syria, Libya, Iraq and Egypt (just to name a few countries that have experienced problems in recent years) caused much shock but as the conflicts have continued to wage on despite or perhaps in spite of any aid we may have sent, it has become almost too common an occurrence.
Many people no longer even bat an eyelid at the scenes gracing the television news broadcasts. It is now common to see refugees being interviewed and seeing the unsanitary conditions that many are now forced to live in. In fact, this is so common that many claim to change the channel or watch surprisingly calmly as the harrowing tales are told.
Great numbers of the public are learning to desensitise themselves to the news. I for one can no longer stomach watching them; the scenes just disturb and worry me. For some this may cause undue stress but for many the honest truth is that they can no longer bring themselves to care. There is a severe case of cynicism among others who watch regular news programmes following over three years of unrest in the Middle East; people are more than willing to see the countries in the said area left to their own devices. No matter the cost and no matter the number of horrifying pictures they see, it has just gone on for too long for there to be any continuing impact.
Something needs to be done. I cannot claim to have a solution to this problem, but one thing is certain – showing emotionally distressing images is beginning to lose its impact. The recent resignation of Baroness Warsi on the other hand has had a great and reeling impact; it was talked about in many homes. It was a controversial move, and now with the Middle East at stake, perhaps controversial is the way to go?