Monday, 28 November 2011

The Power of the Media in Modern Britain

Er no thanks... but something is wrong.
As Catholics we all know about the "power of the media" because, sadly, it all too often follows an anti-Catholic line. Strike that. 95% of the time it is anti-Catholic (by omission or commission).

Today the landlord in the Bristol, Joanna Yeates murder case, Christopher Jeffries said he had to move from safehouse to safehouse after the media painted him as guilty of an awful murder. As The Telegraph put it:

Mr Jefferies told the inquiry how he had been forced to move between friends like a "recusant priest at the time of the Reformation."
This cannot be right. The media have overturned the age-old right of being 'innocent until proven guilty.' Indeed, it is often the case that the innocent are hounded to an awful degree, with salacious and often made-up material spread across the papers, whereas the guilty are treated with kid gloves and so we see people of the most heinous crimes (such as child abuse) let out after a few years to repeat offend.

I don't know how other Catholics feel, but I get the feeling that GK Chesterton would rip apart the topsy-turvey nature of a system that brutalises the innocent yet soft-soaps the guilty.

I just hope that in the shadow of some awful behaviour by the tabloids, real press freedoms aren't curtailed: the kind that expose the wrongdoings of the MPs, bankers and... newspapers.

In a country where the guilty have the right to Playstations but the innocents are ripped apart in the womb, it is little wonder that, as a society, we have lost all idea of what we are, of what is right and what is wrong.

And the answer, short of mass conversion and the Social Reign of Christ the King? I think we should look for the break-up of media empires, a regulatory body with some teeth, and a return to the kind of media in which the small publisher can publish and flourish - allowing some decent Catholic voices to be raised in answer to the material and spiritual concerns of a people crying out for answers.

Telegraph story and video

1 comment:

  1. Just look at the way the Pope's demand that the world acts decisively at Durban on climate change. It went practically unreported in the newspapers while some were still pedalling the unscientific and indefensible views of the American coal owners. His Holiness is right but inconvenient, the climate change deniers are wrong but so convenient to people who want to be popular.