Wednesday, 1 April 2009

G20 protests: media gets in way of rioters

Looking at some online coverage of the recent "disturbances" caused by the G20 protesters in central London, I was struck by an almost comic scene: that of newspaper photographers and TV news cameramen jostling at the front of the bustling and bulging crowd in order to capture the moment on behalf of us all.

Have we reached a stage in the development of our wonderful media that they outnumber even the rioters? As I watched the footage, I couldn't help but think of Chris Morris's glorious and prophetic "It's war" satire on just this factor in one of his Brass Eye mocumentaries. His withering analysis of a media so obsessed with itself and with "getting the story at all costs" that it was prepared to start a war via a satellite-linked Newsnight-style live conversation between two countries, and then to virtually become participants in the ensuing conflict as journalists parachute into the warzone, trampling on and endangering civilians in the process isn't so far off the mark.

I challenge you to look at the current photo on the front page of The Guaridan (online) and not have just a little chuckle at how many nice big newspaper cameras there are pointing at the "action."

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