IF IT BLEEDS, IT LEADS
Recently, a man killed his ex-wife and two children. The media are sympathetic and compassionate in reporting this story. You would think that the media cared.
Several years ago a neighbor feared for her life. Her ex-husband threatened to kill her. He had gone to jail for threatening and assaulting her, but the jail released him early. He would show up and try to break into her house threatening to kill her. She had a restraining order against him, but he would be gone by the time police arrived. The police said that there was nothing they could do unless they caught him at her place.
I thought a story in the media showing how The System was failing this woman would not only help to stop The System from failing her, and other women in her position, but prevent a murder. She gave me permission to contact the media, and she was willing to go public.
I called three television stations in Toronto and spoke to the producers for the news shows. (All three were women.) How shocking their response!
The first producer interrupted me as I was explaining the situation.
“Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Has he killed her yet?” said the producer,
“No, but I was hoping a news story on–”
“Call us back when he kills her,” she said once again interrupting me.
“But I thought–”
“We’re not interested unless he does something. Call us back when he does,” she said and then hung up.
The other two producers said the same thing. They were only interested in the story after the murder, and did not care about preventing it.
Fortunately the neighbor moved away and no one knows where she is. She had wanted to do this before her ex-husband got out of jail, but the jail had released him early.
News is a product that the media packages and sells. If it bleeds, it leads. Do not be fooled by any sympathy or compassion the media displays. It’s only part of the sale.